March 14, 2019

Castro Remarks on Senate Passage of Resolution to Preserve Balance of Power, Terminate the President’s Emergency Declaration

– As Delivered –

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), author of the privileged resolution to terminate the President’s current emergency declaration (H.J.Res.46), today made the following remarks on the Senate passage of the bipartisan resolution to terminate the President’s unlawful emergency declaration:

“Hi everybody. I’m Joaquin Castro representing San Antonio, Texas and the author of H.J.Res.46, which was just voted upon by the United States Senate.

“I want to say first thank you to the Democratic and Republican Senators who stood up for the Constitution today and the balance of powers between the Presidency and Congress, the Executive and the Legislative branches of government.

“There has never been, according to the people that live along the border, an emergency at the border.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years unfortunately is the President fearmongering—scapegoating immigrants. There is a humanitarian crisis, but there is no invasion.

“Unfortunately, the President has built his political career on the backs of immigrants and desperate people seeking refuge in this country. To do that, he declared a national emergency.

“We were successful in the House, with 245 votes, also in a bipartisan way to terminate the President’s emergency declaration. And I’m proud to say that 59 Senators stood up to the President today and stood up for the Constitution.

“Unfortunately, in Texas that did not include either of our senators, Senators Cornyn or Cruz, who showed weakness today, who showed timidity, who betrayed the people of Texas in favor of Donald Trump.

“I look forward—I realize that the President is very likely to veto this bill, this resolution. We look forward to the opportunity to try to rally votes to override that veto. It’s not lost on me how difficult it is to override any veto by a President.

“But as I said at the beginning, if the President declared a national emergency because Mexico wouldn’t pay for the wall and then Congress wouldn’t pay for the wall. If he did that unilaterally and imposed it on the people of the United States, and the people of Texas, then we would fight it every way we could.

“We would fight him in Congress as you’ve seen today. We would fight him in the courts as we’re doing, and I believe that the American people will fight this.

“Some people will say that today’s vote falls short of a veto override number needed to combat what the President is going to do, which is likely veto this.

“I believe that there is an incredible legal significance to today’s vote. Think about it: both chambers of Congress, one Democratic and one Republican, voted to terminate the President’s emergency declaration. As the courts review this, that will be a significant legal fact.

“And so, I look forward to watching the debate in the courts.

“I’m also concerned if Congress allows this to stand, if the courts allow it to stand, the precedent that it will set for future Presidents—Republican and Democrat. And even for this President. President Trump has come back and asked for $8 billion for a wall.

“If the Congress allows this emergency declaration to stand, the President is likely to go back and do this again next year, or the following year if he’s able, if he’s reelected.

“Future Presidents are likely to do this for other things that they would prefer to see in law, even if the United States Congress refuses to give them the money under their constitutional authority. With that, I’ll be glad to take a few questions.”

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