Oregon’s two U.S. senators are both strongly against President Donald Trump’s plan to use a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
White House officials confirmed Thursday that the president plans to sign a deal to prevent another government shutdown but will declare a national emergency to build his proposed border wall.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., says the president’s approach is dictatorial. He predicted that Trump would face fierce opposition, including legal action. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum tweeted she and other attorneys general are discussing ways they might get involved.
“This is basically what happens in a dictatorship,” said Merkley, who is considering a presidential run. “You declare an emergency and you do whatever you want.”
His fellow Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden, tweeted his displeasure:
The only national emergency here is the damage Trump’s fragile ego is doing to the country.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) February 14, 2019
Rep. Greg Walden, the only Republican in Oregon’s congressional delegation, said through an aide that he would not comment on a possible emergency declaration until further details of Trump’s plan are released.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican representing southwest Washington, released a statement in response to the president’s intent.
“I have voted repeatedly and consistently for increased security on our borders, but I do not support the president using a national emergency declaration to redirect funds toward the border that were already appropriated for other purposes by Congress,” Herrera Beutler said. “If President Obama had ever hinted at using emergency powers in this way I would have spoken out strongly against it, and consistency demands that I do the same now.”
One of her Republican colleagues in Washington, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, said she shared the president’s concerns about the need to secure the border and his frustrations with Democrats. But she said disagreed with declaring an emergency.
“… Declaring a national emergency sets a very dangerous precedent that undermines our constitutional separation of powers,” she said, adding that the president “is opening the door for any future president to act alone without congressional approval.”