WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made these statements on the Senate vote on the motion of disapproval that would overturn President Trump’s national emergency declaration.
“I voted with President Trump and rejected Nancy Pelosi’s motion of disapproval regarding the emergency declaration to build a barrier on the southern border.
“There is an emergency at our southern border. Military construction funds can be used by President Trump to create barriers to protect our nation from the scourge of illegal immigration. I believe the President is on sound legal ground. While I respect those who disagree, it is time to build the wall.”
On National Emergencies Act and Section 2808
“While some of my colleagues have genuine concerns about the scope of Executive power under the National Emergencies Act and the potential precedent the President’s actions would set, I have concluded that the president is on sound legal footing to invoke the authority of the NEA and use the funds available in section 2808.
“Congress has specifically authorized the President to declare a national emergency, and thereby access military construction funds under section 2808.
“Past Presidents have invoked the NEA numerous times in the past, and for far less critical circumstances. Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump have all sent troops to the border to help secure our southern border, which remains in a state of crisis.
“The President is at his strongest — legally — when he is working pursuant to authority granted to him by Congress.”
“Moving forward, I hope the White House and my colleagues who are concerned about the application of this law can reach agreement in terms of changing the underlying statute. I do not believe the President is acting in an unconstitutional manner, but I would support revising the statute going forward.”