Schumer Floor Remarks Announcing Senate Democrats Will Force A Vote To Terminate Emergency Declaration President Trump Is Using to Redirect Military and Counter-Drug Funds To Pay For His Wall With Mexico

January 15, 2020

Washington D.C. –  U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer spoke today on the Senate floor, announcing that Senate Democrats will force a vote to reverse the national emergency declaration President Trump is using to redirect $7.2 billion in military and counter-drug funds to pay for his border wall, which President Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is planning to divert $7.2 billion in funding from the Defense Department to fund its border wall with Mexico. Once again, the administration proposes stealing this funding from military families and counterdrug programs, bringing the total amount that the president has stolen—stolen—from our troops and their families to over $13 billion.

The last time the president took away from military construction, serious military projects suffered. Schools in Kentucky, medical facilities in North Carolina, hurricane recovery projects in Florida. Now the president wants to take even more money away from these projects for a border wall he promised Mexico would pay for. This is another slap in the face to our armed forces, their families, and all the places throughout America that have military bases that need new construction funding.

Senate Democrats strongly oppose this action. We will continue to oppose the transfer of counterdrug funding for the wall and we will force yet another vote to terminate the president's bogus national emergency declaration and return these much-needed military construction funds back to the military, to the men and women in our armed forces and to their families.

Our Republican friends hopefully will join us in that vote. President Trump is once again subverting the will of Congress, once again thumbing his nose at the Constitution. The Founders gave Congress the power of the purse, not the president, and this chamber has refused repeatedly to fund the president's wall.

But whether it's to federal appropriations, foreign policy, or our oversight authority, President Trump seems to have little regard for constraints placed on the executive. He seems to view the Constitution as merely a nuisance, some inconvenient obstacles in the way of his personal and political interests. It’s time for Democrats and Republicans to say enough.

I’d say one final thing to my conservative friends. The true foundation of conservatism is to minimize the powers of government, particularly the executive because, they believe, it provides more room for the individual. Where are the conservative voices when President Trump—on issue after issue, one of the most egregious being this border wall—takes the power away from Congress, away from the American people and arrogates it to his own personal wishes?