Smucker Statement on President Trump’s Emergency Declaration

February 15, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) issued the following statement on President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border:

“Emergency declarations should not be taken lightly. President Trump has made a strong case that there’s a humanitarian crisis at our southern border – and I agree. It’s Congress’ duty to ensure the President is acting within his constitutional authority to address that crisis. After research and consideration, I believe Trump is acting within his authority to take this action.”

Since 1976, presidents have pronounced 58 national emergencies under the National Emergency Act. Thirty-one of these national emergencies are still in effect today. 

Under United States Code 10 Section 2808, presidents have the authority to undertake military construction projects using funds already appropriated for military construction in the event of a declaration of a national emergency.

“Emergency declarations do not allow the President to circumvent the Constitution. President Trump’s exercise of national emergency powers is limited in this instance,” Smucker said. “He is not creating a new law or allocating additional funding. He is merely re-appropriating money that has already been set aside for other projects.”

Smucker said he will continually monitor the national emergency declaration and its impacts on border security.

“It will be important that Congress continues to monitor and review the president’s role in this process to ensure the actions taken are within constitutional and statutory authority,” he said.