Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) released the following statement after the House of Representatives today voted on H.J. Res. 46, a resolution terminating the national emergency declaration by President Trump regarding the crisis at the southern border:
“Time after time I have heard from career professionals at the Department of Homeland Security, Kentucky’s law enforcement officials, and constituents across the Sixth District about the growing concerns and needed efforts to stop the flow of convicted criminals, human traffickers, gang members, and drugs from entering our country through the southern border,” said Congressman Barr. “The first and primary responsibility of the federal government is the safety and security of the American people. That is why I was proud to support $1.37 billion to bolster our border security a few weeks ago and it is why I voted against today’s political stunt by House Democrats.
“I take very seriously my responsibility to assess the constitutionality of actions taken by the Executive Branch and in this case, I am confident in the President’s authority to exercise his Commander in Chief powers under Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution and the National Emergencies Act. This national emergency declaration would not have been necessary if Democrats worked in good faith to fund commonsense border security, but the President and Republicans in Congress are committed to prioritizing the interests of the American people over partisan political games.”
The President’s authority to declare a national emergency is grounded in the Constitution and section 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act, which was passed by Congress in 1979. Since then, Presidents have used this authority 31 times, including President Clinton to declare a national emergency to fight drug traffickers and President Obama to declare a national emergency to fight transnational gangs.