Colorado’s House Republicans back Trump’s emergency declaration; Cory Gardner is mum

February 26, 2019
In The News

Colorado's congressional delegation voted along party lines Tuesday on legislation that would block President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency along the southern border.

The state's four Democrats in the U.S. House approved of the measure, which passed 245-182. The state's three Republican congressmen voted against the bill, which Trump has vowed to veto if it passes the Senate.

"The president abused his power when he declared a fake national emergency to spend billions of dollars on a wall that experts all agree will not work to secure our borders," said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver. "Today, we used our constitutional power to terminate that fake emergency, and we hope the Senate acts fast to do the same."

The vote Tuesday escalates a dispute between Trump and congressional Democrats, along with a few Republicans, over the extent of his executive power. Trump declared a national emergency Feb. 15, freeing up money for the construction of physical barriers along America's border with Mexico.

"A border wall is ineffective and wasteful, but a national emergency when there isn't one sets a dangerous precedent and is a direct threat to our democracy," said Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora.

Rep. Scott Tipton, a Cortez Republican, warned Feb. 15 that Trump's declaration "could set a precedent" by concentrating power in the executive branch "and eroding the carefully constructed system of checks and balances in the Constitution."

However, Tipton voted against the disapproval measure Tuesday, blaming Democrats for refusing to put forth "serious proposals" to secure the border legislatively.

"Now the constitutionality of the national emergency declaration will be determined by the judicial branch," he said in a statement.

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Colorado is one of more than a dozen states suing the Trump administration over the declaration.

Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, said Trump was well within his constitutional rights to declare a national emergency. "The crisis at our border requires executive action," he said Tuesday.

A vote in the Senate is expected sometime in March. Passage there would be met with a veto — Trump's first as president — and possibly a long-shot effort to override that veto in Congress.

Among Colorado's senators, Democrat Michael Bennet has criticized the emergency declaration.

Republican Cory Gardner has said Congress should have oversight of border wall construction, but his office did not respond to a request for comment on whether he will support Trump's declaration.