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Politics and Government

Central NY Congress members say they're concerned about Trump's emergency declaration

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media File Photo
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (left) at Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

The House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday evening to block President Trump's national emergency declaration. 13 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the resolution. One of them was North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville). In a statement, Stefanik said "While I continue to be a strong supporter of securing our border, I believe the President declaring a national emergency that will take funding from our country’s military construction projects is the wrong decision. For this reason, I voted in support of today’s resolution disapproving of the national emergency with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle."

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) was unable to be in Washington for the vote due to the death of his father on Sunday. In a statement, he said he supports the resolution. 

"I strongly believe we must act to strengthen our nation’s border security," Katko said. "But Republicans and Democrats in Congress need to come together as legislators to implement these types of policies. Presidents, from either party, should not legislate from the executive branch.  Doing so dangerously expands the authority of the office and sets poor precedent."

Original Post

Central New York’s Congress members are weighing in on a resolution to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration on the U.S.-Mexico border. The House is expected to vote on the resolution Tuesday. Local representatives said they’re concerned about Trump’s declaration.

The national emergency declaration is meant to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to fund a border wall. Mohawk Valley Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) said that would affect the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome.

“There was money that was appropriated last year in the National Defense Authorization Act to build, ironically, a fence around Rome labs, so they can support their open campus concept," Brindisi said. "That is under the military construction budget and that money may very well be at risk.”

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said Congress maintains the power of the purse and he’s concerned about the president diverting money from appropriated funds.

“Some of the funds haven’t been appropriated, like asset forfeiture funds," Katko said. "I’m less problematic with that.”

Finger Lakes Republican Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) said while the wording of the House resolution is not appropriate, he disagrees with Trump’s emergency declaration. 

“What this represents, to me, a decade’s created problem, where Congress has abdicated its role as a co-equal branch of government and delegated this authority to the president’s office," Reed said. "This is why we should join together and call for that authority to be brought back to Congress.”

Reed, Katko and Brindisi have all supported funding for some kind of barrier along the Southern border.