The House is set to vote Tuesday on a resolution to block President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border with Mexico. It is expected to pass easily, setting up a less certain vote in the Senate, but ahead of the vote, a bipartisan group of 58 former national security officials put out a statement Monday saying that there is no national emergency.
“We have lived and worked through national emergencies, and we support the President’s power to mobilize the Executive Branch to respond quickly in genuine national emergencies,” the statement says. “But under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the President to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border.”
The statement also warns: “In the face of a nonexistent threat, redirecting funds for the construction of a wall along the southern border will undermine national security by needlessly pulling resources from Department of Defense programs that are responsible for keeping our troops and our country safe and running effectively.”
Those signing the statement include former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and John Kerry and former Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta. The nearly five dozen signatories include officials who served in the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Separately, 26 former GOP lawmakers signed an open letter to Republican members of Congress urging them to “protect the Constitution and the responsibilities it vested in Congress” by passing the resolution terminating Trump’s emergency.
The president on Monday tweeted: “I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security. Without strong Borders, we don’t have a Country - and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don’t fall into the Democrats “trap” of Open Borders and Crime!”