Sen. Duckworth: Trump’s “National Emergency” Is Illegal

February 14, 2019
 

Andrew Harnik/AP

Congress voted Thursday to approve a spending plan that would keep the government open. We sat down with Senator Tammy Duckworth just before the Senate vote in Washington D.C. 

Congress moved ahead quickly Thursday with a bipartisan deal that would keep the government open. But hearing news that President Trump would approve that deal, and still declare a national emergency to get funding for a border wall, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth voiced concerns about whether that was even lawful.

"Well, I think it’s illegal. I don’t think he can just unilaterally declare a national emergency when there is no national emergency that exists, he can’t just make one. I think there will be a lot of court challenges that will prevent him from doing so." 

Sen. Duckworth spoke just before the Senate voted 83 to 16 to approve the spending plan. Illinois Senators Duckworth and Dick Durbin voted yes. The measure went on to pass the House of Representatives Thursday evening, 300-128.

President Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders said in as statement that while he will sign that bill, the President will also take executive action, including declaring a national emergency to fund building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.