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Rand Paul Will Not Support Trump’s Border Emergency, Sets Up Likely Veto

Rand Paul Will Not Support Trump’s Border Emergency, Sets Up Likely Veto

The power of the purse belongs to Congress.

https://youtu.be/VWTaOrgcs24

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) became the fourth Republican senator to voice his support on a resolution to block President Donald Trump’s border wall emergency declaration. Paul wrote at FoxNews.com that he “cannot support the use of emergency powers to get more funding.”

At a GOP event, Paul told the audience that he cannot “vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress.”

Republican Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Thom Tillis (NC) have already said they will not support the emergency declaration.

With Paul, supporters of the resolution to block the border emergency declaration will have the majority to pass it. This will set up Trump’s first veto during his term.

Paul remembered how the Republicans “decried President Obama’s use of executive power to legislate.” He also said that in order to remain “an honest officeholder,” one must do that “no matter who is in power.”

The senator explains his thinking in his op-ed:

There are really two questions involved in the decision about emergency funding. First, does statutory law allow for the president’s emergency orders, and, second, does the Constitution permit these emergency orders? As far as the statute goes, the answer is maybe — although no president has previously used emergency powers to spend money denied by Congress, and it was clearly not intended to do that.

But there is a much larger question: the question of whether or not this power and therefore this action are constitutional. With regard to the Constitution, the Supreme Court made it very clear in Youngstown Steel in 1952, in a case that is being closely reexamined in the discussion of executive power. In Youngstown, the Court ruled that there are three kinds of executive order: orders that carry out an expressly voiced congressional position, orders where Congress’ will is unclear, and, finally, orders clearly opposed to the will of Congress.

To my mind, like it or not, we had this conversation. In fact, the government was shut down in a public battle over how much money would be spent on the wall and border security. It ended with a deal that Congress passed and the president signed into law, thus determining the amount.

Congress clearly expressed its will not to spend more than $1.3 billion and to restrict how much of that money could go to barriers. Therefore, President Trump’s emergency order is clearly in opposition to the will of Congress.

The Constitution places the responsibility of the purse on Congress, not the president.

He also believes that “the president’s order for more wall money contradicts the will of Congress and will, in all likelihood, be struck down by the Supreme Court.”

At Hot Air, Jazz Shaw explained that “the funding in question was already appropriated by Congress for the military.” He pointed out that “there are already at least two laws on the books (passed by Congress and never repealed) that allow for military funding to be moved around in this fashion.” More from Jazz:

Title 10, Section 2808 allows the POTUS to do this during a national emergency or state of war. (And if you can’t undo his emergency declaration, he’s staying within the boundaries of that law.) But even if you block the emergency declaration, there’s a very solid case to be made that Title 10, Section 284 allows the Justice Department and the Department of Defense to authorize the use of military funds for construction projects within 25 miles of the border in the interest of preventing drug trafficking and/or international crime.

While I see Paul’s point, the examples presented by Jazz Shaw can also sway me to believe the legality of Trump’s action. In order to prevent something like this from happening again, Congress should repeal those laws. If Congress appropriates money for a department or place it should be used for that specifically, not shuffled around.

However, as Jazz wrote, Congress can override this with the resolution they have in front of them and that includes the support to override Trump’s veto.

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Comments

“A strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means.” Thomas Jefferson

I want the free-flow human trafficking of women and children and drugs inoto our country to be curtailed. I want all foreign workers to be here within a legal system. I want foreign criminals deported. I want only citizens to vote.

Our representatives can’t make it happen because they are puppets and patsies of multinational corporations and other robber barons.

Ron Paul, I have lost respect for you. You will not earn it back.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to elle. | March 4, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    I’ve always felt this line applied 100% to Rand Paul:
    “The child’s just not right!”

This makes me a NEVERrandpaul !

    casualobserver in reply to Lewfarge. | March 4, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Just this one thing? Really? Pretty reactionary.

      Just this one thing? Smug but stupid. If my house is burning down and the guy from the fire department shows up with a clip board and says sorry, we are currently in drought status so we will have to wait until next quarter before we use the water needed to put it out. And he just stands there talking about the importance of water conservation as my house burns ….and starts to catch the surrounding houses on fire. Yeah. Just this one thing. Virtue Signalling jerk.

“The power of the purse belongs to Congress.”

True enough. And in 1976 Congress opened its purse and gave permission to the president to take what was appropriated for national emergencies which had an expansive meaning since Congress in writing that law did not write with precision.

And in following years Congress continued to appropriate.

In other words, I don’t know what Rand Paul is talking about. And apparently neither does he.

    iconotastic in reply to pfg. | March 4, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Paul is just filling the power vacuum left by McCain in helping out Democrats when possible, that’s all.

    Virginia42 in reply to pfg. | March 4, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Wouldn’t be the first time.

    alaskabob in reply to pfg. | March 4, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Paul does not understand the doctrine of competing harms IF Trump did not have authority (he does) to prevent illegal access to this country. When it’s too late, it’s too late…

    ? Dr. Rand…. until a person bumps a fever and white cell count..are they infected? By the time the USA is symptomatic to illegal immigration by your standard..The country will be dying.

    Bisley in reply to pfg. | March 5, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I didn’t hear him whining when Obama diverted funds, without bothering to declare any emergency, to fund things that were altogether illegal (DACA, for instance).

And I would not be surprised if mittens joins this group !

    elle in reply to Lewfarge. | March 4, 2019 at 11:33 am

    ME, Me Me, Look at MEEEEEE

    They can’t get the most simple things done, much less the important things. Worthless men without honor.

I understand where Sen. Paul is coming from, he is indeed a Constitutionalist. I also know that with this type of attitude, conservatives will be admiring his principles as we are being frog-marched into oblivion. Senator Paul, the left will NOT fight fair. The time for principles and decorum have long passed us by. I shall not admire you any more.

casualobserver | March 4, 2019 at 11:39 am

I don’t like executive orders at all from a constitutional perspective. But Congress fails so regularly at leadership no matter which party holds control I am not sure we could get much done without it. How many times did Paul Ryan have a chance to get this done, for example??

Ron Paul like to play the classic libertarian. He is almost universally opposed to the government exercising any power [which seems strange for a career politician], unless his neighbor comes to his house and breaks his ribs. He is also an ineffectual legislator who votes, not the will or desire of his constituents, but on his personal “principles”. He obviously has little adherence to the principles of REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT.

What Paul ignores is that the Congress has already given the President the power to both declare an emergency and to divert funds to counter that emergency. The Congress has reserved to itself the power to a Presidential Emergency Order. This requires a majority of both houses of Congress or 60%, in the case of a Presidential veto. There are other laws on the books which would allow the President, through the DOD and DHS to spend money allocated to those departments to border wall construction.

Finally Paul writes this: “First, does statutory law allow for the president’s emergency orders, and, second, does the Constitution permit these emergency orders? As far as the statute goes, the answer is maybe — although no president has previously used emergency powers to spend money denied by Congress, and it was clearly not intended to do that.”

In 2014, President Barack Obama did exactly the same thing, when he declared a national emergency involving the huge upsurge in UAMs crossing the southern border. He diverted $3.7 billion from Obamacare to assist UAMs, after Congress refused to appropriate the money directly for that purpose. Congress took no action to rescind the Declaration of Emergency. All the members of the Congress did then, was whine and harrumph. What is different today? Only the occupant of the White House.

Couple of things Randy:
First; Congress never “denied” border wall funding. The shutdown occurred after congress failed to vote on spending measures. The money to be spent was actually “appropriated”, not spent, and redirected.
Second; Congress already voted to provide this power to the Pres. over a decade ago. You need to file a bill ending the Emergency Powers if that is what you desire.
Third; This vote is about whether you want border security or not. Your talking will not make it anything more.

Couple of things Randy:
First; Congress never “denied” border wall funding. The shutdown occurred after congress failed to vote on spending measures. The money to be spent was actually “appropriated”, not spent, and redirected.
Second; Congress already voted to provide this power to the Pres. over a decade ago. You need to file a bill ending the Emergency Powers if that is what you desire.
Third; This vote is about whether you want border security or not. Your talking will not make it anything more.

buckeyeminuteman | March 4, 2019 at 12:10 pm

What if Congress is too inept or stupid or unwilling to appropriate money that will literally save the lives of the citizens it claims to represent? I too love the Constitution and the rule of law. But doesn’t the Commander-in-Chief have the power to protect the nation and its citizenry??

Close The Fed | March 4, 2019 at 12:20 pm

When I read that he was opposing this, I emailed the following note to his office:

I just read that you oppose Pres. Trump’s emergency declaration. I’m extremely disappointed.

The Constitution is not a suicide pact, and I disagree with your Dad, who said if we build a barrier on our southern border, that would be like East Germany. We aren’t East Germany.

The federal government persists in failing to perform its constitutional duty to protect the states from invasion. I’m sure you’re familiar with Article IV, Section IV, which states that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and …. etc.”

We in Georgia have been invaded. In my county, 25% of K-5 students are latin. In Whitfield County, it’s about 78%. Why are we taxed for “defense” if our senators and our government refuses to defend us? I understand your hesitation in having our soldiers in every corner of the globe, but why won’t you allow us to have our own country, and have our own border protected?

High-minded ideals are unacceptable, when the problem is so great that it means the difference between our country and our citizens remaining our country and our citizens, and instead our citizens becoming 3rd class citizens in our own country, constantly insulted, taxed for foreigners’ benefits, and crowded out by foreigners in our own hospitals, our own schools, our own roads.

At what point, Senator Paul, will you decide Americans deserve defense? It appears there is NO point at which you believe that to be acceptable. As far as I’m concerned, President Trump has been derelict in his duty as Commander in Chief, in that he has allowed the invasion of foreigners to continue and to INCREASE.

I see little benefit to continuing to be an American citizen. You should think carefully about rendering our consistent votes to change the composition of the House, the Senate and the White House effectively a nullity. If we cannot change the direction of our country with voting, what is left to us? Abject subjection to the whims of 536 people in D.C.? Do you truly think that consistent with the American character?

I will not believe you care about our citizens until you ACT as though you do. I have not heard of any action on your part to defend our country from the invading hordes. This is why I left the Libertarian Party: when the facts on the ground didn’t line up with their theories, they decided the world was wrong, not their theories. You appear to be one of that number.

So, since according to your view, there is no constitutional avenue to avoid the death of America, what will we call the new country? Mexistan?

Piece of sh!t

inspectorudy | March 4, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Paul is living proof of the dysfunction of Congress. He is so blinded by his own importance that he has turned our laws into a suicide pact. Of course, no president should declare an emergency for a pet project or belief, but if any sane person that sees the illegal entry issue clearly and does not think it is a national crisis, they have no business in Congress. Big arga/industry and the DNC both love the illegals. The more the merrier. But for the rest of us who pay our taxes, this is going to crush the middle class. I’m waiting for the morons called Republicans to start telling the masses that the more illegals that come in, the less there will be for their own children and the higher their taxes will be.

Politicians have one objective, to keep their jobs so that they can keep accumulating wealth. The GOP has thrown in with the hispanics and the white vote is now considered superfluous. They figure that they’re thee only game in town in terms of opposing the democrats but hell, they are the democrats. Time for a 3rd party or to abandon this political charade completely.

“The Constitution places the responsibility of the purse on Congress, not the president.”

True. But still and again, the Constitition is not a suicide pact.

It’s been 40 years obvious that Congress wants open borders and illegal aliens flooding the interior of the nation. Why? Because most of these Congress critters are more beholden to their chamber of crony capitalism sugar daddies than to the voters who swallowed their campaign trail horsecrap.

If the analysis from Shaw at Hot Air holds up, Congress has already appropriated money that the Commander in Chief has the authority to shuffle around for national defense – triggered by the national emergencies act voted into law by Congress in 1976.

So, sukk it Paul, et al. I never heard word one from you when Obama unilaterally spent funds to implement the unconstitutional DACA program. And you didn’t rush to vote a prohibition against Obama airlifting hundreds of millions in cash money to the mad mullahs in Iran.

It’s awful convenient that these ‘public servants’ can now turn a blind eye to the horrid ooze of sex and drug trafficking that plagues the southern border while wrapping themselves in the Constition. Because MUH PRINCIPLES.

Between this and Rep. Amash, a startling proposition is being made, namely that any dollar that was not specifically appropriated toward a purpose is a dollar denied with malice aforethought for that purpose. Also, that every dollar assigned for every other purpose under the sun, even for emergency bills where a cap, not a minimum, is applied for spending, cannot be used for any other purpose, emergency or not. Armageddon breaks out? Too bad.

This is an argument that there are no loopholes, and that following the letter of the law, but dishonoring its spirit, is unconstitutional. You can make a political case to that effect. As an actual legal argument, making a case that loopholes are not only wrong, but evil, is saying that the law as it is actually written, rather than as we wish it to be in our hearts and minds, is utterly and completely irrelevant. All that matters is our intentions.

Is that what was meant by rule of law? A law is written, and decades later (…four in this case) people explain what it really means, and the meaning becomes whatever legislators claim it means? That is a system, to be sure. Is it really law, though?

Inside every Losertarian is a flaming a-hole fighting to get out and they make it out with great regularity.

While I understand Rand Paul’s position(I think he is wrong) I agree with Trump that the Border is an emergency.

But the bigger emergency is in Congress and if we don’t fix it soon we are all in trouble!

Paul is a fool. If he believes the law allowing a president to divert money from one use to another for things he sees as urgent is unconstitutional, he should work to repeal the law, and the laws giving regulatory agencies power to promulgate and enforce their own laws (which certainly are an unconstitutional delegation of power). But, since this presently is the law, there should be no question that Trump has the right to divert funds to try to control illegal immigration, particularly because Congress refuses to.

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