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Statement of Administration Policy: S.J. Res. 54 - Terminating the National Emergency Declared by the President on the Southern Border

September 25, 2019


(Sen. Udall, D-NM, and two cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes S.J. Res. 54. This resolution would undermine the Administration's ability to respond effectively to the ongoing crisis at the Southern Border by terminating the national emergency the President declared on February 15, 2019. The Southern Border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics, and the crisis threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. In addition, security challenges at the Southern Border exacerbate an ongoing humanitarian crisis that threatens the well-being of vulnerable populations, including women and children. While the Administration has made great strides in tightening border security with the use of available statutory authorities, countering large-scale unlawful migration and humanitarian challenges across the Southern Border requires continued vigilance and the dedication of available Federal resources.

The President's emergency declaration invokes the same authority that President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama used to undertake more than 18 different military construction projects between 2001 and 2013. When President Trump declared the national emergency on the Southern Border in February 2019, it marked the sixtieth time a President has used this authority since the enactment of the National Emergencies Act of 1976.

Since the President's declaration, the situation on the border has improved, and S.J. Res. 54 would hinder the progress that is being made. The Congress has acted in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner to approve the provision of emergency resources to address the crisis, and the Congress has agreed to a budget framework that expressly preserves the authorities the Administration is using to address the crisis. Congress should not vote to terminate the national emergency and remove important border security and humanitarian tools from the Government's toolkit. As the Administration continues to use its national emergency authorities to address the crisis on the border, its Fiscal Year 2020 budget request calls on the Congress to ensure sufficient funding is provided to ensure these emergency measures do not delay other important investments across the Government.

On March 15, 2019, the President vetoed an identical resolution that would have terminated the national emergency. If S.J. Res. 54 were presented to the President in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he veto it as well.

Donald J. Trump, Statement of Administration Policy: S.J. Res. 54 - Terminating the National Emergency Declared by the President on the Southern Border Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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