MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida lawmakers have come out in support of, and against, President Donald Trump’s declaration a national emergency to secure funding for a border wall along party lines.
Republican Senator Rick Scott, who traveled to the border last week, said he saw firsthand the dangers the men and women of the Border Patrol face every day.
“I applaud the President’s decision to put the safety of our country first and use his authority to secure our border. This is a reasoned, measured approach to fulfill his duty as Commander in Chief and keep our country safe, and I appreciate that he kept his word to not repurpose funds designated for disaster relief funding for Florida or Puerto Rico, which I’ve discussed with him at length,” Scott said in a statement.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio wasn’t as supportive as Scott.
“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution,” Rubio said in a statement. “Today’s national emergency is border security. But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal. I will wait to see what statutory or constitutional power the President relies on to justify such a declaration before making any definitive statement. But I am skeptical it will be something I can support.”
Democrats say the declaration of a national emergency to secure border funding is an abuse of power.
“Declaring a national emergency to build an ineffective and expensive wall repudiates a bipartisan spending bill, overstepping the checks and balances of our Constitution and setting a dangerous new precedent. I expect that the courts will review what many believe is a gross abuse of power,” said Rep. Lois Frankel in a statement.
Democratic Congressman Alcee L. Hastings agreed.
“President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency over a fake crisis represents an alarmingly gross misuse of power and taxpayer dollars, and is in clear violation of the law,” he said in the statement.
Hastings went on to say the rationale for a southern border wall over other proven, effective, border security is entirely absent.
“Illegal immigration is at a record low and any drugs that make it across the border usually come through legal ports of entry. It is gravely concerning that the President has come to this decision based not on sound policy, but rather on a temper tantrum after his failed attempt to fund an inefficient, wasteful border wall, for which he shut down the government for over a month,” he said.
Hastings added that Congress entrusted the President with the authority to reallocate funds during urgent and unforeseen situations, not two-year-old campaign promises and fabricated crises.