Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn
With today’s Senate vote, Congress has issued a firm rebuke to President Trump’s abuse of the Emergency Powers Act. The votes of both the House and the Senate reaffirm Congress’ role as a coequal branch of government. Americans expect and deserve a Congress that will not tolerate abuse of power by the president.
President Trump chose to bypass Congress with a manufactured emergency because he was unable to secure funding for an unnecessary and hugely expensive wall on the Mexican border. To stand idly by and allow this unilateral and undemocratic power grab to proceed would set a dangerous precedent. Congress must stand ready to muster the votes to overcome a threatened veto from the White House or the president will only be emboldened to bypass the executive branch whenever Congress will not accede to his every whim.
During the first two years of the Trump presidency, the Republican majority in Congress served as the President’s chief enablers and it has only inspired further overreach and abuse of the powers of the presidency. Americans expect their elected representatives in Washington to put their country before their party and today’s vote was a step in the right direction for a number of Senators.
Choosing political expediency over the good of the country will not be looked upon kindly by history, nor by the American electorate.
To view Common Cause’s original statement and legal explanation of opposition to Trump’s national emergency order, click here.