WASHINGTON (ABC4 News) – A ‘Border Security Compromise Bill’ was hammered out by lawmakers and passed in both the House and Senate late Thursday. It’s just in time to prevent a government shutdown if President Donald Trump signs the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump has indicated he’s prepared to sign the government funding bill but also issue a national emergency on the border.
Utah lawmakers released the following statements about the deal and pending emergency declaration.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R):
“There is a crisis on the southern border. This compromise bill does not come close to solving that problem, but I don’t want another government shutdown, so I have voted yes.
“The president should not declare a national emergency. He needn’t even be in this position if Congress would have done its job and funded both the government and border security. This is a failure of Congress to act.
“I am frustrated with Democrat leadership, who have supported border security in the past, but now are insisting upon an inadequate compromise out of pure political spite.”
Rep. John Curtis (R):
“Like President Trump, I believe it is crucial to properly secure our borders and ensure dangerous criminal cannot enter,” said Curtis. “I will evaluate a possible emergency declaration if it is proposed but I worry about the harmful precedent that approach can set and whether or not it could be legally justified. Congress needs to solve the difficult problems facing our borders and broken immigration system– we cannot rely on executive actions to get our job done.”
Rep. Ben McAdams (D):
“Government shutdowns are terrible for workers, our economy and our national security. The President should never again harm all three by forcing a government shutdown to get his way. Now we must continue working together on immigration reform, including permanent protection for our DREAMers. Fixing our broken immigration system is the true, long-term solution to border protection, economic security and humane, compassionate response to people seeking safety and a better life for themselves and their families in America,” said McAdams.
McAdams said the bill provides money for medical care, food, and clothing for migrants held in detention, along with funding for 55 miles of pedestrian and levee fencing.
Following reports that President Trump intends to declare a national emergency to build a border wall without Congressional approval, McAdams said that he opposes the declaration and agrees with Utah Senator Mitt Romney that such actions should be reserved for only extreme and exigent circumstances.
Rep. Chris Stewart (R):
“I think President Trump is making a mistake by declaring a national emergency in order to increase border funding. Whether the President has the authority or not, it sets a dangerous precedent and places America on a path that we will regret.
It deeply worries me that a future Democratic President may consider gun violence or climate change a ‘national emergency’ and what actions they may then take.
While I agree we must secure our borders and provide increased security, we must limit the power of the Executive to make such declarations.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R):
“While this bill is far from perfect, it includes critical funding for border security and immigration enforcement, and prevents another harmful government shutdown. I am glad the Senate was able to conclude this unfinished business from last year.
“I will reserve judgment on any potential executive action by the President until I am able to fully evaluate it, but as I’ve said, I do not believe declaring a national emergency is the right approach. I would also expect the President to stay within statutory and constitutional limits.”