Tuesday’s vote in the House on the resolution to reverse President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the Mexico border is A litmus test ‘to preserve, to protect, and to defend the Constitution of the United States’.
But as the headline at Daily Kos says, On Tuesday, Americans can watch Republicans betray the Constitution—and the country—in real time:
The significance of Tuesday’s vote and what it will show about the Republican Party cannot be overstated. As required to assume their office, each and every elected representative in both sides of Congress took a formal oath to defend the Constitution. They stood before their families, friends, constituents and cameras, placed their hand on a Bible or whatever “holy book” they claimed to respect, smiled broadly, and declared their absolute fealty to that founding document.
Tuesday will show us, very simply, which Republicans actually believe in that oath and which ones do not.
Ahead of the vote on Tuesday, 58 former national security officials to issue declaration on Trump’s national emergency:
A bipartisan group of 58 former senior national security officials will issue a statement Monday saying that “there is no factual basis” for President Trump’s proclamation of a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The joint statement, whose signatories include former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former defense secretary Chuck Hagel, will come a day before the House is expected to vote on a resolution to block Trump’s Feb. 15 declaration.
Also signing were Eliot A. Cohen, State Department counselor under President George W. Bush; Thomas R. Pickering, President George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations; John F. Kerry, Obama’s second secretary of state; Susan E. Rice, Obama’s national security adviser; Leon E. Panetta, Obama’s CIA director and defense secretary; as well as former intelligence and security officials who served under Republican and Democratic administrations.
The former officials’ statement, which will be entered into the Congressional Record, is intended to support lawsuits and other actions challenging the national emergency proclamation and to force the administration to set forth the legal and factual basis for it.“
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 group said.
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The former security officials’ 11-page declaration, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Post, sets out their argument disputing the factual basis for the president’s emergency.
Among other things, they said, illegal border crossings are at nearly 40-year lows. Undetected unlawful entries at the U.S.-Mexico border decreased from 851,000 to nearly 62,000 between 2006 and 2016, they said, citing Department of Homeland Security statistics.
Contrary to the president’s assertion, there is no documented emergency at the southern border related to terrorism or violent crime, they said, citing administration reports and independent think tank analyses.
Similarly, they state that there is no drug trafficking emergency that can be addressed by a wall along the southern border, noting that “the overwhelming majority of opioids” that enter the United States are brought in through legal ports of entry, citing the Justice Department.
They also argue that redirecting money pursuant to the national emergency declaration “will undermine U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.” And, they assert, “a wall is unnecessary to support the use of the armed forces,” as the administration has said.
Also ahead of the vote on Tuesday, Nearly two dozen former GOP lawmakers push Republicans to block Trump’s emergency declaration:
Nearly two dozen former Republican members of Congress have penned an open letter to GOP lawmakers, urging them to reject President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
In the letter, the former members wrote that the president’s move undermines the constitutional authority given to Congress to make federal appropriations, and argue that the emergency declaration would set a precedent for future presidents that could one day come back to bite them.
“There is no way around this difficulty: what powers are ceded to a president whose policies you support may also be used by presidents whose policies you abhor,” the former lawmakers wrote.
They called on Republicans in Congress to “exercise restraint to protect the constitutional model … and to keep it from being sacrificed on the altar of expediency” and ask them to “pass a joint resolution terminating the emergency declared by the President.”
The choice is simple and clear: your oath “to preserve, to protect and to defend the Constitution of the United States, or your sycophant devotion to the personality cult of Donald Trump. History will judge you harshly should you vote for an autocrat.