WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today commended President Trump and Senators who are reportedly working together to provide almost $6 billion for border walls and fencing while averting a Constitutional challenge over the separation of legislative and executive powers. A number of Senate Republicans are negotiating an agreement that would amend the Emergency Powers Act to provide for affirmative Congressional consent for future emergency declarations.
President Trump currently has transfer authority of up to $4 billion within the Department of Defense budget and the Treasury Forfeiture Fund that can be used to build border walls. In addition, Congress appropriated $1.375 billion for this purpose in February.
"For over 20 years in the House and Senate, I have voted for funds to build more than 600 miles of border structure," said Wicker. "The funds currently available to President Trump will allow our country to continue building the border wall in the near term. I commend the President for his efforts to secure our nation's border quickly.”
“However, I have serious reservations as to what the Emergency Declaration might do to the Constitutional principle of checks and balances. The precedent we set this year might empower a future liberal President to declare emergencies to enact gun control or to address ‘climate emergencies,’ or even to tear down the wall we are building today. For these reasons, I support my colleagues in looking for a way to advance President Trump's Border Security Plan while preserving the invaluable concept of separation of powers. The system of checks and balances established by the Founders has preserved our democracy. It is essential that we protect this balance even when it is frustrating or inconvenient."