Statements were released from both of West Virginia’s Senators on Thursday, March 14, 2019 regarding a vote to support President Trump’s emergency declaration. The Mountain State’s Senators each released a statement explaining their vote to West Virginians.
According to an article from the Associated Press, the Senate voted 59-41 to cancel Trump’s February proclamation of a border emergency, which he invoked to spend $3.6 billion more for border barriers than Congress had approved.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on his decision to vote for the emergency declaration resolution of disapproval.
“I will vote for the emergency declaration resolution of disapproval, overturning the President’s national emergency declaration on border security. Let me be clear,I support total border security, which includes building a wall on our southern border. However, I believe that those funds, according to the Constitution, need to be appropriated through Congress, not through executive authority. As Senator Byrd said:
‘The absolute bedrock of the people’s continued freedom from tyranny and excesses of all types of authority is, again, anchored in the pages of history. It is thepower of the purse. This essential tool—control of the purse by the people’s representatives in Congress—lies at the very foundation of our freedoms. I believe that it is the fulcrum of the people’s leverage. This control of the purse is one of the most effectivebulwarks ever constructed to repel a despot, control a tyrant, or shackle the hands of an overreaching executive. Chip away at this fundamental barrier and one chips away at the very cornerstone of the people’s liberties.’
“Regardless of who the President is, Congress has an obligation to defend the Constitution. That is why I oppose the President’s decision to unilaterally declare a nationalemergency. I fought President Obama’s executive overreach when he was in office, and I will do the same today with President Trump because I believe in the Constitution of the United States with all of my heart.”
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement aftervoting to uphold President Trump’s national emergency declaration:
“There is no doubt that we are facing a serious security and humanitarian crisis at our southern border, and as news reports and data from the Department of Homeland Security have shown in recent weeks,that crisis is only getting worse. As chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I’ve worked with the president, administration officials, and my colleagues in Congress to provide resources that will help strengthen our border security. Afew weeks ago, we came to a bipartisan funding agreement that made a significant down payment on the president’s border security goals, but it’s become clear that more needs to be done. That’s why I support the president’s decision to declare a national emergency at our southern border and whyI voted to uphold that decision today.
“Congress gave the president the power to take such action in order to provide for our national security and keep Americans safe, so this isn’t about whether or not the president is acting within his rightsor about the separation of powers. This vote was about whether or not we agree that there is a crisis at the southern border and whether or not we believe the president should have the tools to fix it. I, for one, support the president in his efforts to strengthenour border security and address the situation at the border, and I was proud to vote to uphold his emergency declaration.”