Shame on North Dakota Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven along with Rep. Kelly Armstrong for voting in favor of President Donald Trump’s national emergency, by voting against the resolution to overturn it.
Cramer, Hoeven and Armstrong must know there is no emergency at the southern border and no need to waste $5.7 billion this year on a border wall. Cramer, Hoeven and Armstrong must be aware that most illegal drugs enter the country through legal crossing points, that virtually all people seeking asylum here are not criminals (they’re trying to escape violence and poverty), and that the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is way down. Moreover, the largest number of illegal migrants living in the U.S. don’t come from the southern border, but are people who have stayed here after their visas have expired.
Also, people who know the best, all members of the U.S. House whose districts include the southern border, along with many people who live along the border, are against the wall.
Cramer, Hoeven and Armstrong must recognize that Trump declared the national emergency because of Trump’s failed campaign promise to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it, which of course Mexico was never going to do. The emergency was so necessary that Trump said he “didn’t need to do this” before heading to the golf course and omelette bar to manage the emergency. The real emergency should be to reunite all children taken from their parents at the southern border due to Trump’s inhumane policy.
By supporting the emergency, the North Dakota Congressional delegation is supporting taking away billions of dollars for military construction projects and counternarcotics programs approved by a Republican-controlled Congress. Presumably, vital programs are being dropped to fulfill a foolish campaign promise. Do Cramer, Hoeven and Armstrong really want to establish a precedent that a president can declare a national emergency every time he or she can’t get legislation passed by Congress? How would they feel if a Democratic president declared a national emergency related to gun control, climate change or health care?
The biggest problem with Cramer, Hoeven and Armstrong supporting Trump’s tactics is they are supporting something that is clearly unconstitutional. According to the Constitution, only Congress can authorize funding for projects. Trump is doing an end run on Congress. It is incomprehensible why Cramer, Hoeven and Armstrong would follow Trump like sheep and willingly give up their constitutional responsibility. Their job is to fund the government, not abdicate that role to a tantrum throwing president. The three of them need to demonstrate a spine and some integrity.
The Founding Fathers did not create the separation of powers as a suggestion, but as a mandate. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency after being rejected by Congress is an attack and threat to our democracy. By supporting the phony national emergency, Cramer, Hoeven and Armstrong are complicit with this attack.
Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV new director. He can be heard Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., on WDAY AM radio. Email firstname.lastname@example.org