Congressman Young’s Statement on the House Vote to Overturn the President’s National Emergency Declaration
Washington, February 26, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young released the following statement in response to today’s vote by the House of Representatives to overturn President Trump’s Emergency Declaration.
“I am a strong supporter of strengthening border security, and believe we should be taking immediate steps to reform our immigration system and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis on our Southern Border. President Trump recognizes the gravity of the situation we are facing, and frankly, is right to work towards improving and enhancing border security. The National Emergencies Act passed Congress in 1976, and a national emergency declaration in not new or unprecedented. Of the nearly 60 declared national emergencies, 32 are still ongoing, including the first ever national emergency issued by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. President Trump is well within his right to declare a national emergency, and I voted against today’s resolution because of its potential to undermine our ability to confront the crisis at the Southern Border.
While I support the efforts of this administration to address the growing issues along the southern border, I do have some concerns over the emergency declaration’s potential to divert critical military construction funds – including funding for the F-35 – from Alaska. Senator Dan Sullivan and I have communicated our concerns to President Trump, and requested protection of funding already appropriated for national security projects in Alaska. Moving forward, I implore the Administration to identify funding sources that can be utilized without impacting the military’s ability to carry out their mission.
It is disappointing that instead of working together to find a solution to this crisis, House Democrats have chosen to play politics with a resolution that may not even be brought up for a vote in the Senate. This charade may play well for the TV cameras, but it moves us no closer to secure borders or a functional immigration system. If Democrats were seriously interested in legislating, they could have proposed reforms to the National Emergencies Act.
The President’s emergency declaration is facing a multitude of legal challenges, and he has said himself that it will ultimately end up in the courts. Our Founders created a system of checks and balances for situations such as these, and it is now up to the courts to determine the legality and constitutionality of the declaration. In the meantime, I urge party leadership on both sides of the aisle to come together to secure our borders and propose real legislation to finally fix our broken immigration system.”