Law & the Courts

GOP Rep.: ‘Republicans Would Be Going Nuts’ if Obama Had Declared Emergency to Bypass Congress

Representative Mike Simpson (R, Idaho) (C-SPAN)

Representative Mike Simpson (R., Idaho) cast his fellow congressional Republicans as hypocrites on Tuesday for supporting President Trump’s national-emergency declaration after repeatedly attacking the Obama administration’s executive overreach.

Simpson’s comments came ahead of a House vote on a resolution that would block Trump’s national-emergency declaration. Simpson has previously criticized Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency in response to congressional Democrats’ refusal to provide the $5.7 he had demanded for a border wall.

“It’s not the way to do it. I can understand why they’re looking at it,” Simpson told the Washington Post. “I don’t like the idea of pulling money out of defense and military construction and the Army Corps of Engineers. That’s not a good option.”

Simpson has not, however, committed to backing the resolution blocking the emergency declaration. The resolution is expected to pass the House and Senate with the support of Republican representative Justin Amash of Michigan and Republican senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.

Trump has vowed to veto any attempt by Congress to end the national emergency, at which point congressional Democrats would have to secure two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate to override the veto.

A number of other Republican lawmakers, including Senators Ben Sasse of Nebraska, John Cornyn of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida, have joined Simpson in criticizing the emergency declaration while refusing to support a resolution that would end it. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have endorsed the national-emergency declaration as an appropriate response to Democratic obstruction.

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