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Marco Rubio: Donald Trump declaring national emergency to build border wall ‘a terrible idea’

January 27, 2019

Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday said it would be a “terrible” idea for President Trump to invoke emergency powers to secure money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall without congressional approval and that he doubted the White House would ultimately go that route.

“I think it would be a terrible idea - I hope he doesn’t do it,” Mr. Rubio, Florida Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t think we’ll have to fight, because I’m not sure they’ll end up doing that.”

Mr. Rubio said the move would ultimately put the administration at the mercy of federal courts that could easily halt the action.

Mr. Trump on Friday signed stopgap legislation that ended the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history but didn’t include money for new construction on a border wall, which the White House had insisted on throughout the entire process.

The president said he could invoke emergency powers or orchestrate another shutdown if Congress can’t agree on border security money ahead of Feb. 15, the next funding deadline.

Mr. Rubio said the emergency declaration wouldn’t be a good precedent.

“It doesn’t mean that I don’t want border security - I do - I just think that’s the wrong way to achieve it,” he said. “It doesn’t provide certainty, and you could very well wind up in sort of a theatric victory at the front end and then not getting it done.”

Mr. Rubio said the best course of action is to pass legislation that includes funding for border security.

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