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Ohio Democrats and some Republicans upset by President Trump’s emergency declaration

February 15, 2019

Ohio Democrats and some Republicans upset by President Trump’s emergency declaration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ohio Democrats and at least two of the state’s Republican Congress members were dismayed Friday by President Donald Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to fund construction of a wall on the nation’s southern border.

“I ran on a very simple slogan: Make America Great Again,” Trump said in making the declaration after Congress refused to allot the border security money he sought in a spending bill he signed to keep the government open for the rest of the fiscal year.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters that Trump plans to use roughly $3.6 billion from Treasury Department and Defense Department financial accounts for wall construction.

“This is authority given to the President in law already,” said Mulvaney. ”It’s not as if he just didn’t get what he wanted so he’s waving a magic wand and taking a bunch of money.”

While many Ohio Republicans applauded Trump’s action, freshman Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River expressed trepidation. He said he “unequivocally” backs the requested border fencing, but he fears Trump will “set a dangerous precedent whereby a future president whom I don’t support could declare a different national emergency to enact a different set of policies without the consent or approval of Congress.”

“While I will wait to see the full declaration to comment further, I believe this is something all members of Congress should consider deeply as we proceed further,” Gonzalez said.

Dayton-area Republican Rep. Mike Turner, whose congressional district includes Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, said securing the border shouldn’t be done at the expense of previously funded military construction.

“I believe it is a dangerous precedent for the President to be forced to declare a national emergency because Congress refuses to provide necessary funding to protect our country,” said Turner.

Holmes County GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs supported the declaration, saying “an unsecured border is a national emergency and should be treated as such.”

“Of course it’s a national emergency,” Champaign County GOP Rep. Jim Jordan agreed on Twitter. To back up his point, Jordan cited the “largest fentanyl bust in history,” “caravans of immigrants that keep coming,” and families losing loved ones to violent criminals who enter the country illegally.

“What will it take for the Left to acknowledge the crisis on our border?” he concluded.

Of course it’s a national emergency.-Largest fentanyl bust in history, enough to kill 57 million Americans-The caravans keep coming-Angel families losing loved ones to violent criminalsWhat will it take for the Left to acknowledge the crisis on our border? #DoWhatWeSaid— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) February 15, 2019

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman agreed that more fencing and barriers are needed to address a “crisis” on the nation’s border, but said he would have preferred to find a “legislative solution instead of declaring a national emergency that will likely be tied up in courts.”

As expected, Democratic leaders in the House Senate condemned the move. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York released a statement that called Trump’s declaration “a power grab by a disappointed President, who has gone outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process.”

Their statement said the action violated the congressional power of the purse granted by the U.S. Constitution, and they’ll use every remedy available to defend their authority.

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is gauging a presidential run against Trump, called the emergency declaration “reckless and irresponsible.”

“Instead of building a wall, we should be passing a bill to provide back pay for the contract workers the President hurt with his shutdown,” said a statement from Brown.

Toledo Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who chairs a House subcommittee that funds Army Corps of Engineers public works projects, expressed fear that Trump’s border wall would “steal funds” from life-saving flood prevention and hurricane reconstruction efforts, and also “pick the pockets” of high-priority military construction projects.

“Past national security emergencies have involved hurricanes, wildfires, hostage crises, epidemics and public health emergencies and terrorist attacks posing grave and immediate risk to American lives,” said Kaptur. “The situation at the border clearly falls short.”

Niles-area Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan said Trump shouldn’t declare a national emergency to address border security. Ryan, who is also weighing a White House run, introduced legislation Thursday that would establish a nonpartisan commission to review and assess the U.S. immigration system and border security.

“We aren’t going to solve this through an executive overreach; we need targeted fact-based solutions,” said a statement from Ryan.

Trump can’t redirect disaster money to build his wall, say top Democrats including Toledo’s Marcy Kaptur