After President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he’s concerned about the precedent the declaration might set for future presidents.
But he wouldn't say whether he'll vote to approve Trump’s emergency declaration, which would allow him to repurpose funds to build his border wall, because Democrats have "thwarted" the president's attempts to secure the borders
“I'm going to take a look at the case the president makes. And I'm also going to take a look at how quickly this money is actually going to be spent, versus what he's going to use,” he said.
“If he's not going to be spending it this fiscal year or very early in the next fiscal year, I would have my doubts. So again, I'm going to take a look at it and I’ll, you know, I'll decide when I actually have to vote on it.”
Trump announced a national emergency on Friday as part of a larger plan to repurpose government dollars to fund his wall, while agreeing to sign the bipartisan spending deal that avoids a government shutdown. That congressional plan included almost $1.4 billion for border fencing in Texas, far short of the billions more Trump has said he wants for the wall.
The move is controversial, and opponents are already readying legal challenges questioning whether it’s constitutional. Democrats have also raised the prospect of holding a vote to disapprove of the declaration in the House, which would, by congressional rules, trigger a Senate vote if passed by the Democratic-majority body.
And while some on the right have celebrated the move as a commitment to Trump’s signature campaign promise, others have raised broad concerns that the declaration could open the door for future Democratic presidents to declare emergencies on issues like climate change and gun violence.
The full interview with Johnson will air on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC. Check your local listings for the broadcast time in your market.