Colorado Democrat and Republican representatives expressed concern Friday about President Donald Trump’s state of emergency declaration to gain funding for a southern border wall.
To avert a second government shutdown, Trump signed a federal funding agreement Friday afternoon, which allocated $1.375 billion to building a border wall. He later enacted a state of emergency in an attempt to reach the full funding amount.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., released a statement Thursday afternoon condemning a state of emergency declaration, ahead of Trump’s official Friday announcement. Bennet said it set “a dangerous precedent” for the president to “declare a national emergency to fulfill a campaign promise that neither the Congress nor the American people support.”
“Whatever your politics, every American should worry about President Trump’s attempt to bypass the U.S. Congress by inventing a national emergency. This is not how the world’s oldest democracy should conduct itself,” Bennet said in his Thursday statement.
Shortly after Trump’s speech in the White House Rose Garden, Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez., called for Congress to exercise “its responsibility in addressing the long-standing issue of border security.”
Yet, Tipton expressed concern about Trump’s state of emergency declaration and the precedent it could set by “further concentrating power in the Executive Branch and eroding the carefully constructed system of checks and balances in the Constitution,” Tipton said Friday.
While Tipton said he supports the need for strengthened border security, he said, “I do believe that it needs to go through the legislative process as outlined in the Constitution and not by an Executive Branch action.”
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., remained cautious in his reaction. On Friday afternoon, he released a statement saying, “I’m currently reviewing the authorities the administration is using to declare a national emergency.”
Although Gardner said he has “long supported immigration reform that includes more dollars for border security,” he did not want to see another shutdown and “Congress is most appropriately situated to fund border security.”
Liz Weber is a student at American University in Washington, D.C., and an intern for The Durango Herald.