Rep. Andy Biggs: Senate Republicans should reject Pelosi’s ploy

I urge my Senate colleagues who are planning to vote for Speaker Pelosi’s rebuke of President Trump’s Emergency Declaration to reconsider and reject her cynical and political resolution. I strongly urge the president to use his constitutional authority to veto the Pelosi legislation should it be passed out of the Senate.

The Pelosi plan is cynical because it denies that there is an emergency on America’s southern border. The drug and human trafficking that exists, and is increasing, is ample evidence that our problem is exigent. There is a tidal wave of people illegally crossing our border and a tsunami of drugs entering from Mexico. We think we catch about one-third of the illegal aliens and interdict maybe 15 percent of the drugs. We will catch more than one million illegal crossers and have already stopped enough fentanyl to kill more than 100 million Americans this fiscal year.

We also have the specter of a public health emergency as a mumps and measles outbreak along our southern border has arrived and threatens to cross our nation. One wonders if those who will vote with Pelosi in the Senate supported former President Obama’s emergency declaration to deal with an outbreak of Swine flu.

REP. ANDY BIGGS: DEMOCRATS ARE ABUSING THEIR POLITICAL POWER IN ORDER TO OVERTURN THE WILL OF THE VOTERS

As victims, Angel families can attest to the urgency of the border problem created by the violently criminal illegal aliens who constitute a portion of the massive influx of border crossers.

ICE and CBP agents have been forced to release tens of thousands of illegal aliens into the interior of the country, the vast majority only to be encountered by authorities when they commit another crime (besides the illegal entry), is further evidence of the border emergency.

Senators should vote against Pelosi because, unlike the Democrats, we understand that there is a real emergency on the border. To deny that there is an emergency is simply to view the current state of the border with eyes closed.

Once we acknowledge that action must be taken, and the immediacy of the problem, we look to see if the president has the authority to act. Congress has given emergency authority to the President of the United States. President Trump is not doing anything new or frankly, extraordinary, by declaring this emergency. As Sen. Kennedy, R-La., said Wednesday, “The cow is out of the barn.” Indeed, it is. And the cow is the power of this president to declare an emergency by virtue of the authority given to him by Congress.

If my colleagues, like myself, believe that Congress has given too much authority to the executive branch, then we can retake that delegation – after we have brought this emergency to heel. To kill the Declaration by President Trump is ill-timed and does nothing long-term to curb the powers resting in the Executive Branch that previous Congresses have delegated. While making a statement that may be accurate in substance, the position and vote will exacerbate the border emergency and fail to permanently restrain the power that Congress delegated more than 40 years ago.

A more rational approach is to oppose Pelosi’s resolution, recognizing that her motivation is not as principled as the Senate Republicans who support her resolution, but instead is meant to be a political cudgel to embarrass the president and show the Republicans that she is in power. It also kowtows to the most radical wing of her party, who she no doubt promised to prevent a border wall in exchange for to votes necessary to secure her speakership.

If the Senate defeats the cynical and political Pelosi edict, the emergency declaration will remain in place and we can make progress on solving the national security crisis and humanitarian emergency on our southern border. After this step is taken, Congress can begin to retake our Article I power by providing limits on the emergency power we have delegated to the executive.

A bill that limits the emergency power in the future is consistent with recognizing that Congress has delegated this authority. It might also be justified to subject it to greater oversight by the legislative branch. A limiting bill is not consistent with the argument that such a delegation, even with guardrails, is unconstitutional.

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A vote for Pelosi is a vote to continue the crisis on our border while leaving the emergency powers in place. In other words, it will perpetuate the problem. A rebuke of the Pelosi resolution allows us to attack the border emergency. Bills that prospectively constrain executive authority can then go forward to address the concerns we have with the delegation of congressional powers.

I hope that the Senate Republicans will reject Pelosi’s ploy. If they do not, Mr. President, please veto the Speaker’s cynical and political Resolution that denies the existence of a border emergency and is designed to embarrass you and harass congressional Republicans.

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