Higgins, Reed dislike Trump's "national emergency" but disagree on how to resolve it

Feb 25, 2019

The House is expected to vote this week, possibly as early as Tuesday, on a resolution blocking President Trump's use of a national emergency declaration to divert funds for his much-desired wall on the southern border. Two Western New York congressmen agree that the president's declaration is inappropriate in this circumstance but they disagree on the resolution scheduled for a vote.

President Donald Trump has already pledged a veto if Congress passes the resolution, in his words, "one hundred percent."

Democrats in the House claim Trump is overstepping constitutional boundaries. Buffalo's Brian Higgins, who represents New York's 26th Congressional District, says the president is doing this because he didn't get his way in the agreement which ended the recent federal government shutdown, which included far less money for border barriers than he sought.

"What the president is attempting to do here is a clear violation of the constitutional limits that are placed on him and the constitutional powers that are vested in the United States Congress," he said.

Higgins adds that Congress is a co-equal branch of the federal government. Tom Reed, the Republican representing New York's 23rd Congressional District, says the problem is Congress has given away some of its powers and the executive branch has taken advantage. Reed suggests President Obama also took advantage and crossed the line during his administration.

"That authority has been delegated to the president's office, which is why we should join together and call for that authority to be brought back to Congress, and challenge and stand up to the actions of President Obama that are still on the books as well as President Trump with his emergency action," he said.

Reed feels a bipartisan action would achieve the needed adjustment but in the meantime admits he does not support the proposed resolution as it is drafted.

"To me, that is not the appropriate resolution when you look at the text of it," he said.

Higgins, meanwhile, says while security along the border with Mexico is a problem, it is not a full-blown crisis as portrayed by the president.

"This president views this as simply not getting what he needs politically, because he made a promise to the American people to build a wall," Higgins said. "But he also promised, as we all remember, that Mexico would pay for it. Now he wants to declare a national emergency when one doesn't exist."