House minority leader Kevin McCarthy asserted Tuesday that President Trump is acting within his executive authority in declaring a national emergency to fund his long-promised border wall and said the Republican minority in the House would support him.
“The president has the authority to do it and we will uphold him,” McCarthy told The Daily Caller when asked about the national emergency Trump declared earlier this month in order to unilaterally secure funding for a wall on the southern border.
McCarthy’s comments come as the Democrat-controlled House is preparing to vote on a resolution that would end the national emergency.
“The president’s act is lawless,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said when announcing the resolution on Friday. “It does violence to our Constitution and therefore to our democracy. His declaration strikes at the heart of our Founders’ concept of America, which demands separation of powers.”
The resolution is expected to pass both the House and the Senate with the support of Republican representative Justin Amash of Michigan and Republican senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. A number of other Republican lawmakers, including Senators Ben Sasse of Nebraska, John Cornyn of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida, have cautioned Trump against the national-emergency declaration, but will not support the resolution. Other prominent Republicans, such as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have offered a full-throated endorsement of the declaration.
Trump, who arrived in Vietnam Tuesday for a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, previously vowed to veto any congressional attempt to end the national emergency. Should he veto the resolution, it will go back to Congress, where Democrats must secure veto-proof two-thirds majorities in the Senate and the House.
Numerous legal challenges to the national-emergency declaration have also already been filed and the matter will likely end up before the Supreme Court, as Trump predicted when he announced the declaration in the White House Rose Garden.
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