February 14, 2020

Castro Statement on Third Re-Introduction of Emergency Declaration Resolution

The Third Re-Introduction of Castro’s Resolution Follows Trump’s Latest Attempt to Steal Military Funding for Border Wall

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and member of the House Intelligence and Education and Labor Committees, today re-introduced his resolution (for the third time) following news that the President will once again steal national security funds in order to build his border wall. This re-introduction also comes a day before the one-year anniversary of the President’s emergency declaration and provides another opportunity for Congress to debate its merits:

“President Trump’s latest power grab is the result of losing a political fight with Congress. A Democratic House and Republican Senate have voted to terminate the President’s sham emergency declaration and prevent him from diverting billions in military funds reserved for actual national security priorities. Raiding these funds to build a wall does nothing to make us safe nor does it address the real humanitarian crisis across our southern border. Our military families continue to be collateral damage in the President’s unending quest to fulfill this bigoted campaign promise. It is a shame that he incessantly tramples on the law, and on the rights of Texas landowners.”

Background: Under the NEA statute, “Not later than six months after a national emergency is declared, and not later than the end of each six-month period thereafter that such emergency continues, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated.” This, Saturday, February 15th, marks the one-year anniversary of the President’s emergency declaration and another opportunity for the Congress to debate its merits. 

On February 22, 2019, Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20) introduced H.J. Res 46, relating to a national emergency declared by the President on February 15, 2019. A total of 233 members of the House of Representatives joined him for introduction, and it passed a Democratic House of Representatives with 245 – 182 on February 26, 2019. It also passed a Republican Senate by 59 – 41 on March 14th, 2019. However, the President vetoed the legislation on March 15, 2019. The House tried to reverse the President’s veto, but the 2/3 votes needed did not pass (vote was 248-181).

After the President defied Congress and issued a veto, SCOTUS’ decision in July 2019 allowed the Administration to set a precedent that reconstructs the constitutional balance of power and Congress’ exclusive power of the purse. On September 19, 2019, Castro re-introduced the same resolution. Upon re-introduction of this resolution for the third time, the Congress can revisit this issue. As such, the House will have the opportunity to again vote to end the President’s sham national emergency declaration and bring it up in the Senate again.

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