Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

In Support of the Border - Speech in Opposition to S. J. Res 54

September 27, 2019


Speech in Opposition to S. J. Res 54
Congressman Tom McClintock
House Chamber, Washington, D.C.

September 27, 2019

Mr. Speaker:

For 43 years, the President of the United States has had the statutory authority granted by Congress to declare a national emergency and to re-program unobligated military construction funds to meet that emergency.  Fifty-eight times, previous presidents have invoked this authority to address such matters as civil unrest in Sierra Leone and Burma.  

Only when THIS President invoked his authority for the 59th time to address the most serious national security risk our country has faced in our lifetimes – the collapse of our southern border – do we hear protests from the left and its disciples in the House. 

Under our Constitution, the Congress appropriates money but cannot spend it and the President spends money but cannot appropriate it.  He spends it according to laws given him by Congress.  In this case, Congress appropriated funds, and delegated to the President precisely the authority to spend those funds that he is now exercising.  Whether Congress should have delegated this authority is a separate question that no one has raised in 43 years.  But while that authority exists, the President has both a right and a duty to use it to defend our country.

We hear protests that the President’s act will divert money from other military projects.  I ask them what is more important to our nation’s defense than the defense of our own borders?   A daycare center in Maryland?  Really?

Our nation needs to have a serious discussion over whether we wish to continue as a sovereign nation with the uniquely American principles and customs that have made us, as Lincoln said, “The last best hope of mankind on this earth,” or whether we will allow the Democrats to render our borders meaningless and reduce our once great nation into nothing more than a vast international territory between Canada and Mexico.

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Remarks as prepared