Durbin: Senate Must Reject President Trump's Emergency Declaration

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today urged his Senate colleagues to reject President Donald Trump’s legally dubious emergency declaration in order to fulfill his campaign promise of building a wall at the southern border.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin explained how President Trump is taking money from military readiness—construction projects, training, equipment that our military needs—in order to build a wall along our southern border.

“My hope is that the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, will put the national defense of our nation first, our military first, and vote no on President Trump’s effort to extend this emergency declaration and try to assume constitutional responsibilities beyond what is already written,” Durbin said.  “We are a branch of government.  Article 1 of the Constitution – our responsibility is to appropriate funds.  When we give away that responsibility, we walk away from the reason we were elected.  I hope that members on both sides of the aisle will consider that as we face this historic vote.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

The Defense Appropriations Subcommittee has identified nearly $5 billion in military priorities that need attention now, but after President Trump takes $2.5 billion to pay for his border wall, it is unclear which priorities will get cut.

In his speech, Durbin mentioned specific military readiness projects that are in danger of being cut, including $750 million the Air Force needs this year to begin cleaning up Tyndall Air Force Base, which was levelled in Hurricane Michael, as well as funding to fix approximately 800 buildings on base at Camp Lejeune, New River, and Cherry Point, which were devastated when Hurricane Florence tore through North Carolina.