Amash rips GOP over Trump’s emergency declaration

    U.S. Rep. Justin Amash | Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

    U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Twp.) took to Twitter over the weekend to call out his fellow Republicans over their support for President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration.

    As the Advance reported last week, the libertarian-leaning Republican stands as the only GOP legislator to sign his name to a Democratic-led U.S. House resolution to block Trump’s efforts to build a Southern border wall using emergency powers.

    “The same congressional Republicans who joined me in blasting Pres. Obama’s executive overreach now cry out for a king to usurp legislative powers,” Amash wrote on Saturday. “If your faithfulness to the Constitution depends on which party controls the White House, then you are not faithful to it.”

    Amash’s fellow Michigan congressman, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint), shared Amash’s tweet on Sunday morning.

    Kildee joins the entire Michigan Democratic delegation in co-sponsoring House Joint Resolution 46: U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield), Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly), Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills) and Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.).

    Elissa Slotkin, Andy Levin, Haley Stevens and Debbie Dingell at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit | Nick Manes

    By declaring a “national emergency,” as Trump did earlier this month, the president can attempt to circumvent the Legislature and collect billions in military funds to build his long-promised wall along the Mexico border. The constitutionality and legality of Trump’s declaration is unclear and court fights are seen as likely.

    The resolution, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Calif.) has a total of 226 sponsors and is likely to be voted on early next week.

    It’s expected to pass in the Democratic-controlled U.S. House, but the measure’s chance of making it through the GOP-led Senate is less likely, according to reports. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has expressed support for Trump’s declaration.

    A fifth-term congressman from the Grand Rapids suburbs, Amash has a lengthy history of clashing with his own party, including both GOP House speakers he’s served under, John Boehner and Paul Ryan. He previously told the Advance that it would be hard to do a worse job than Ryan.

    President Donald Trump speaks on border security at the White House February 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. | Alex Wong, Getty Images

    In that January interview, Amash also slammed Trump for flirting with the idea of declaring an emergency to build his wall.

    “I think it would be a huge mistake for him to [declare a national emergency] and it would be a massive executive overreach,” Amash told the Advance at the time. “There’s no national emergency. Obviously, there are problems at the border, but to declare a national emergency — and assume all sorts of powers — would be way beyond what I think is authorized.”

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes is a former Michigan Advance reporter, covering West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels.



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