Oklahoma representatives respond to Congressional vote against National Emergency declaration
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three of Oklahoma’s five congresspeople weighed in Tuesday evening on Congress passing the resolution against President Trump’s national emergency declaration.
On February 15, 2019, President Donald Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States.
H.J.Res. 46: Relating to a national emergency declared by the President on February 15, 2019 was passed in a 245 to 182 vote.
Congressman Frank Lucas, who voted nay on the resolution, released the following statement:
“The constitutional authority of providing appropriations to our nation’s vital programs and various agencies and departments is one of the most important roles Congress is granted. Since the first appropriations bill in 1789, Congress has executed its duties and provided funding for our nation’s national defense as well as our agricultural producers. Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats are refusing to address the national security and humanitarian crisis at the Southern border.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have voted time and time again to secure our nation’s borders and improve security at our ports of entry. While I am cautious of the use of national emergencies which reprograms appropriated funds, I am committed to addressing the ongoing crisis at our Southern border.
While the debate regarding our nation’s border security is ongoing, I am committed to working with my colleagues on building an immigration system that ends illegal immigration and protects our country.”
Congresswoman Kendra Horn was the only Oklahoma representative to vote yes on today’s resolution.
“When I took the oath of office, I swore to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution. Our country’s founders gave the power of the purse to Congress, not the President. This is not an emergency, it is a blatant constitutional violation, and it strips billions of dollars from our armed forces. This is not a partisan issue; it’s about doing what’s right.”
Representative Horn’s release went on to say, “Eliminating this funding would hurt our nation’s security, Oklahoma’s economy and workers in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District. Vital Oklahoma projects are on the chopping block. More than $160 million in planned investment in Tinker Air Force Base is at risk. Altus Air Force Base, facilities in McAlester and in Lexington could also lose critical investments in the tens of millions.”
Two dozen former Republican members of Congress submitted an open letter to their current counterparts urging a yes vote. That list included the Congresswoman’s Republican predecessor, Mickey Edwards, who represented the 5th Congressional District from 1977 to 1993.
“Like us, you have taken an oath of office,” that letter reads in part. “You were elected to Congress to carry out the constitutional duties and responsibilities of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. You were sent to Congress to be the voice of the people. That is an awesome burden and it may require you to exercise restraint to protect the constitutional model—that which is the root of American exceptionalism—and to keep it from being sacrificed on the altar of expediency.”
Congressman Tom Cole did not support the resolution Tuesday morning.
“President Trump preferred a legislative solution to securing our border. Unfortunately, Democrats refused to negotiate in good faith and authorize the necessary funding for the solutions the country needs. By declaring a national emergency and not unlike past presidents, President Trump is acting well within his authority under the National Emergencies Act. As usual, Democrats have signaled that they are more interested in opposing the president than confronting a real humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border for American people.”
Representatives Markwayne Mullin and Kevin Hern both voted nay on today’s resolution, but have not released any statements on the matter.