West Michigan congressional leaders react to President Trump's national emergency declaration

Feb 15, 2019

Donald Trump, President of the united States of America
Credit Wikimedia Commons / Joint Congressional Inauguration Committee

West Michigan’s congressional leaders are responding a bit differently to President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration funding more than 200-miles of the southern border wall. One congressman calls it a “non-emergency” the other warns the president to proceed with caution.

“I urge that caution because I’m very concerned about the Constitutionality of what the executive may be trying to do.”

That’s U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga. He tells me since 1979 there have been 58 declarations of emergency.

“The declaration itself isn’t unprecedented. What I’m really cautious about and wanting to look at those details is where is this funding going to be coming from? What’s the constitutional standing and the ability for the executive to move those dollars around?”

President Donald Trump seeking $8 billion dollars in funding, Huizenga says there’s been too much leeway given to Presidents past and present. He explains Congress should be making these types of decisions. But given the current situation, the Zeeland Republican does believe the President can call the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border a national emergency.

Not so says Huizenga’s Republican colleague U.S. Representative Justin Amash of Cascade Township.

In a tweet he writes, “A national emergency declaration for a non-emergency is void. A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is that the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump is attempting to circumvent our constitutional system.”

Patrick Center, WGVU News.