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Rep. John Lewis Denounces National Emergency Declaration

February 15, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. John Lewis denounced the President’s unlawful national emergency declaration, which could divert over $224 million worth of urgently needed Georgia Department of Defense military construction funds critical to the security of our nation and the well-being of men and women in uniform and military families.  This includes plans for nearly $190 million in cyber protection operations facilities at Ft. Gordon, as well as millions meant to support leasing, maintenance, furnishing and utilities funding for military families worldwide.  News reports are mounting about housing decay on military bases.  The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing this week  where members of military families testified to the presence of termites, rodent infestation, asbestos, lead paint and toxic mold, among other horrors facing families of servicemen and women living on military bases around the world. 

There is no crisis at the border that a wall would fix,” said Rep. John Lewis.  “There is an urgent humanitarian crisis that has led thousands of people to flee perilous circumstances in their homelands.  Mayors of border cities, like El Paso, Texas, have verified repeatedly that the conditions described by the president are not the problems they experience, yet a series of untruths are repeated like a drum beat to justify this dangerous precedent.

“This president is attempting to shake the very foundation of our democracy by disrespecting the fiscal authority granted only to Congress.  He is opening the door for presidents to use the federal treasury as a piggy bank for any purpose he or she may create.  This action derails the constitutional right to a deliberative debate, entrusted to Congress by our Founders, to discover the best uses for the people’s resources.  It unhinges the separation of powers, a cornerstone of our democracy, and opens the door to widespread abuse, like that in historic authoritarian regimes in the Soviet Union, Chile, Libya, and the Philippines.

“We must take strong action against this violation, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to determine our best course of action in this constitutional crisis.”