February 26, 2019

Statement to Republicans: Terminate Trump’s National Emergency.



Dear Republican Members of Congress:

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, urge Congressional Republicans to support H.J. Res.46 (2019-2020) to terminate the national emergency declared by the President in Proclamation 9844 (84 Fed. Reg. 4949) pursuant to the National Emergencies Act, and asserting authority to redirect funds appropriated by Congress for other uses to build a physical barrier at the southern border.

Although our southwestern border is more secure than it’s been in decades, we can do more to combat illegal immigration, cartel violence, and narcotics trafficking. Border lawmakers have consistently expressed concern that the narrow focus on a physical barrier often supplants funding for more advanced, emerging technology that can legitimately secure the border. As such, the then Republican-controlled House and Senate appropriated $1.5 billion in 2017 for border security technology and maintenance of existing infrastructure. By replacing Congressional judgment with his own, the President is subverting Congress’s Constitutional authority to direct spending and is commandeering the will of the Republican party.

In the past, Republicans have resolutely denounced this type of executive authority. In 2014, Republicans successfully argued that they had grounds to sue the Obama Administration after officials used federal funds that had not been approved by Congress to pay insurers under the Affordable Care Act. It is critical that Republicans continue their proud tradition of upholding the rule of law and ensuring limited executive power.

Paradoxically, the President’s plan may include repurposing critical funds in a way that undermines our national security. By diverting $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense military narcotics fund and nearly one-third ($3.6 billion) of the total $10.5 billion military construction budget, the President is unilaterally directing how the Pentagon spends funds in support of the armed forces. This diverted funding will impact the specific uses for which Congress appropriated the money, including operational and training readiness facilities, the maintenance and production of missile assembly-building and high explosive magazines facilities, and funding for service members and their families that would improve schools and medical facilities.

Americans rely on their duly-elected Republican Members of Congress to protect our democracy by steadfastly defending our rule of law and judiciously allocating tax dollars to the priorities it deems most pressing. Terminating this national emergency preserves Congress’s ability to continue to exercise the will of the people, ensure our national security remains intact, and safeguard the funds we dedicate to those who protect our democracy.*

Sincerely,

Becoming American Initiative

Max Boot
Council on Foreign Relations

Linda Chavez
Becoming American Initiative

Soren Dayton
Protect Democracy

Defending Democracy Together

Daniel Drezner
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

Mickey Edwards
Former National Chairman of the American Conservative Union

Emil Frankel
Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of of Transportation, 2002-2005

Gordon Gray
American Action Forum

G. William Hoagland
Bipartisan Policy Center

Bob Ingles
RepublicEn

Laura and Paul Jost
Business owners and philanthropists

Tanveer I. Kathawalla
Business executive

James Kirchick
Brookings Institution

William Kristol
Defending Democracy Together

Jacob Lupfer
The Relay Group

Joshua Muravchik
World Affairs Institute

Tom Nichols
Author and scholar

Niskanen Center

Kristin Olsen
New Way California

R Street Institute

Republicans for Integrity

Republicans for the Rule of Law

Republican Women for Progress

Dalibor Rohac
American Enterprise Institute

Claudine Schneider
Republicans for Integrity

Gabriel Schoenfeld
Hudson Institute

Rina Shah
Republican strategist

Stand Up Republic

Charles Sykes
The Bulwark

Jerry Taylor
Niskanen Center

Michael Turk
Bush-Cheney 04 and Republican National Committee

William Weld
Weld 2020 Exploratory Committee, Inc.

Rick Wilson
Republican political strategist

Prominent conservatives who would like to be included as signatories can contact Niskanen Center senior vice president Joe Coon at jcoon@niskanencenter.org.

*All institutional affiliations are for identification purposes only