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Stefanik votes against Trump emergency declaration

Stefanik votes against Trump emergency declaration

North Country congresswoman one of just 13 Republicans to vote against Trump plan
Stefanik votes against Trump emergency declaration
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik speaks during a press conference in Ballston Spa last year.
Photographer: Erica Miller/Daily Gazette Photographer

North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik was among a handful of Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted Tuesday to repeal President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration.

"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,” Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, said in a statement after her vote.

The resolution passed, 245-182, with all House Democrats backing it.

Stefanik, the 21st Congressional District representative, was one of just 13 Republicans who voted for the Democrats' resolution to override and cancel the national emergency Trump declared on Feb. 15 in an effort to speed construction of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump acted after Congress refused to fund the wall. Declaring the emergency would allow Trump to transfer money from elsewhere in the federal budget, bypassing Congress.

Both the Capital Region's Democrats in Congress, U.S. Reps. Paul D. Tonko and Antonio Delgado, voted in favor of the override.

Stefanik said she was being consistent in voting against what the Democrats see as Trump exceeding his powers as president.

"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," Stefanik said. "As a Constitutional conservative, I consistently criticized President Obama's executive overreach. No matter what Party is represented in the White House, I will stand up against executive action that circumvents Congress."

"I will continue to negotiate in good faith to fully fund securing the border, and I urge my Democrat colleagues to commit to doing the same," her statement concluded.

Delgado, the 19th Congressional District's freshman representative, said during a series of town hall meetings around his Hudson and Mohawk valley districts last week that Trump was usurping Congress' control of federal spending, as spelled out in the Constitution. A number of legal challenges have also been filed making that argument, none of them yet decided.

"The power of appropriations lies exclusively in the hands of Congress," Delgado said on Tuesday. "The president's decision to do an end run around Congress and declare a national emergency is deeply alarming and violates the separation of power enshrined in the Constitution."

Twentieth Congressional District representative Tonko, D-Amsterdam, has been a vigorous critic of Trump on a number of issues, including the emergency declaration.

“Our vote today protects the very heart of our Constitution,” Tonko said in a statement after the vote. “This is not a matter of political party or opinion. President Trump failed to convince Mexico, the American people or Congress to pay for his massive, misguided border wall. Now he's working feverishly to circumvent the will of the people and repurpose funds meant to help house military families."

The House resolution now goes before the U.S. Senate, where it is widely expected to pass narrowly, despite Republican control of that chamber. Neither the House nor Senate, however, is expected to have enough votes to override a veto from Trump, which would require a two-thirds majority in each chamber.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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