Sen. Lindsey Graham called out Republicans who are not standing strong with President Trump on his emergency declaration for the southern U.S. border
The South Carolina Republican discussed the failure of some in his party to back the president on his emergency declaration to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall during a Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, blaming them for “legitimizing marginalizing” the president by siding with Democrats.
“Well some people believe that the emergency declaration could lead to Democrats in the future doing the same thing on other issues. That’s not my concern,” Graham said on “Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo.”
“My concern is a broken border. It is not a manufactured crisis and what upsets me so much is that in 2013, almost all of the Democrats voted for $9 billion for border security, for barriers, as part of a $44 billion package, so to my Republican friends,” the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman continued, calling out the hypocrisy of Democrats.
“It’s clear to me they’re not recognizing President Trump won. They’re not having the same attitude about barriers under Trump as they did [former President] Obama,” Graham argued. “You’re basically legitimizing marginalizing the Trump presidency by not standing by the president because the Democrats are not playing fair with President Trump. He doesn’t have any choice but to declare a national emergency and he has all the legal authority he needs to do it.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer announced last week that Democrats would introduce a resolution to block Trump’s emergency declaration while House Democrats scheduled a floor vote Tuesday on similar legislation.
Graham explained where the emergency funds would be coming from, following the congressional spending bill that gave Trump $1.375 billion, far below the $5.7 billion that he had requested.
“Well he wants $5.7 billion, now what does that number represent?” Graham said.
“That number represents the top 10 priorities of the Department of Homeland Security as to where you actually need barriers. This is not President Trump sitting down and making stuff up. This is what the professionals tell us we need,” he went on.
“These are the top 10 sites that we need a barrier to protect the border and the total cost is 5.7 – you take the 1.375 out of that, what Congress gave him and you go into the military construction bill, you go into other pieces of legislation, you move money around, and you build-out the wall of the barrier,” Graham said. “That’s where he’s going to get the money from. Some from here and some from there.”
Graham noted that declaring a national emergency is not exclusive to Trump as his predecessors had done so in previous administrations. Dozens of active national emergencies declared by previous presidents are still active and 12 of them were issued by former President Obama alone.
“The national emergency declaration has been used 50 times. Obama sent troops to the border. Bush 43 sent troops to the border. Trump is sending troops to the border,” Graham told Bartiromo. “What’s the difference between sending a soldier to the border to shore up the border than having a soldier build a barrier while they’re there is all the legal authority he needs, and I hope the Republicans will stand behind him.”
“This is a defining issue in our party,” Graham added.