WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Collins (R-ME), a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, voted in favor of the bipartisan budget agreement this afternoon, which will fully fund our government through September 30, 2019, and avoid another harmful government shutdown. The funding measure passed the Senate overwhelmingly by an 83-16 vote.
In response to reports that President Trump will declare a national emergency to fund additional miles of wall at the southern border after he signs the bipartisan funding agreement into law, Senator Collins released this statement:
“Declaring a national emergency for this purpose would be a mistake on the part of the President. I don’t believe that the National Emergencies Act contemplates a President unilaterally reallocating billions of dollars, already designated for specific purposes, outside of the normal appropriations process. The National Emergencies Act was intended to apply to major natural disasters or catastrophic events, such as the attacks on our country on 9/11.
“Such a declaration would undermine the role of Congress and the appropriations process; it’s just not good policy. It also sets a bad precedent for future Presidents—both Democratic and Republican—who might seek to use this same maneuver to circumvent Congress to advance their policy goals. It is also of dubious constitutionality, and it will almost certainly be challenged in the courts.
“A far better approach would be for the President to submit a timely budget request for additional border security funding and work with Congress through the normal appropriations process.”