Susan Collins: I Don’t Want To Make Congress Meaningless By Supporting Trump’s National Emergency
Republican Senator Susan Collins told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Thursday that she will be voting against President Donald Trump’s declaration of national emergency when it comes to a vote in the Senate. The Maine senator said that it was Congress’ role to appropriate funds, not the President’s.
“There ‘s no doubt that we needed stronger border security and that our immigration system is broken,” Collins said. “But that’s an entirely different issue from the constitutional authority vested in Congress to appropriate funds. I don’t see this debate about being whether you are for the wall or against the wall, whether you like President Trump or you dislike President Trump.”
“I see this as a very important constitutional debate where Congress must step up, protect its institutional prerogatives and defend its role under article one of the Constitution. It’s not the job of the executive branch, it’s not the job of the judicial branch to appropriate money. It is the job of Congress.”
“I support stronger border security including a wall where it makes sense along the border,” Collins said. “But what this debate is about is whether the President of the United States can take billions of dollars that have been appropriated, that he’s signed into law, and then re-purpose them for other projects. In many cases, 2.5 billion of this amount is coming from essential, vital military construction projects.”
“I don’t believe that the president has that authority under the Constitution. I think the better approach would be for him to submit a supplemental appropriation and work with Congress to try to get it through. Not to unilaterally act.”
Collins disagreed that there was an invasion coming across the southern border and repeatedly pointed to Congress’ power to appropriate funds as the key issue in her decision to vote with Democrats against the President’s national emergency.
“I don’t want to make Congress meaningless in the appropriations process when it is arguably our chief role under the Constitution,” she said.
Watch the video above, via CNN.