Dem Lawmakers Intro Bill to Stop President from Using Military and Disaster Funds to Build Wall
Lawmakers on Monday introduced legislation that would prevent the president from utilizing the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to raid critical military construction and disaster response funds to construct a wall along the southern border. The Restrictions Against Illegitimate Declarations for Emergency Re-appropriations (RAIDER) Act -- introduced by NM Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich -- comes as the president prepares to deliver the State of the Union address, where he is expected to tout his ability to make such a declaration. Donald Trump reiterated his threat to do so in an interview with CBS News that aired over the weekend. “I don’t take anything off the table,” Trump said. He is expected to rely on one of several statutes in the National Emergency Act that authorizes military officials, in a presidentially declared emergency, to redirect funds for purposes that are either “essential to the national defense” or support “use of the armed forces.” Should Trump declare a national emergency, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) could trigger a process that could require the GOP-controlled Senate to hold a vote on the declaration -- which would put Senate Republicans in a position to have to state where they stand. “President Trump shouldn’t be raiding essential funding from Americans recovering from natural disasters, or from our critical military infrastructure to pay for his vanity project,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). “Senate Democrats have already voted for bipartisan legislation that prioritizes effective border security. This, and any future President, shouldn’t be using politics to manufacture a crisis and take funds from critical programs that serve Americans.” A recent Monmouth University poll found that 64% of Americans oppose the president using an emergency declaration to build the wall. Additional bill supporters include Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), among others. More here.