Here’s what Pa’s Congressional delegation has to say about the vote to nullify Trump’s emergency declaration

By: - February 26, 2019 6:52 pm

Trump before delivering the State of the Union address with Pelosi and Pence. (The Conversation, photo)

(*This piece has been updated to correctly identify the districts for U.S. Reps. Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle)

Surprising no one, the U.S. House voted  245-182 on partisan lines Tuesday to approve a resolution nullifying President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to build a wall at the United States’ southern border with Mexico.

The Washington Post reports that “[thirteen] Republicans defect[ed] to side with Democrats on a vote that effectively became a test of GOP loyalty to Trump. Despite their frequent complaints of executive overreach during the Obama administration, most Republicans fell in line with Trump’s decision to try to circumvent Congress to get billions of dollars for his border wall. As a result the vote fell well short of the two-thirds majority that would be required to overcome Trump’s threatened veto.”

Those Republicans were: Reps. Justin Amash and Fred Upton of Michigan, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Mike Gallagher and Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Will Hurd of Texas, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Tom Rooney of Florida, Elise Stefanik of New York and Greg Walden of Oregon.

The resolution now goes to the U.S. Senate, where things are expected to break down along similarly partisan lines. Trump, meanwhile, is expected to veto the resolution if it reaches his desk.

Here’s what all 18 members of Pennsylvania’s U.S. House delegation had to say about the resolution, either in the days and hours leading up to the vote, or immediately in its wake.

This list will be updated as more reaction becomes available.

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1st District:

*U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-2nd District:

*U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-3rd District: 

U.S. Rep Madeleine Dean, D-4th District:

“For the past two months, the president has held our political process hostage. He failed to persuade Congress or the American people to pay for a costly, ineffective border wall. So now he plans outright theft. And the irony — he plans to steal from the very people who keep us safe, our military. The president aims to take billions of dollars from high-priority military construction projects, threatening our service members’ training, readiness, their families and their quality of life.”

“I wanted to tell you just a little bit about what’s at stake in my home state of Pennsylvania. These projects could include $71 million for a Navy submarine propulsor manufacturing facility in Philadelphia. They could include an $85 million-Air Force Reserve construction project in Pittsburgh. It could include $8 million for National Guard Operations training facilities and dining hall in our Fort Indiantown Gap. That’s just one state. That’s just Pennsylvania and just some of what is at stake.”

U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-5th District:

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-6th District:

U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District:

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8th District:

Here’s what Cartwright posted to Twitter on Feb. 15:

U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser, R-9th District:

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District:

The latest condemnation from the Democrat-controlled House is yet more political theater. H.J. Res. 46 isn’t about Executive overreach; it’s about a policy disagreement – we know that because the same Democrats that lauded President Obama’s Court-declared, unconstitutional actions on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), now decry President Trump for using his constitutional authority to secure our Country,” Perry posted to his official Facebook page. “Not upset about the Executive Action on DACA? Please recall the Clean Power Plan – which threatened our electrical grid and would have raised utility costs in Pennsylvania by 17 percent annually – that had no Congressional approval. Please also recall the bureaucratic gun-grab from Social Security recipients without due process.

“Or how about the Iran Nuclear Deal, done without the Constitutional process in the Senate for ratification and which unfroze millions in assets? These are just few examples of Democrats being wholeheartedly supportive of the “pen and a phone” strategy out of the White House. At least President Trump was designated the authority to address the problem at hand. Anyway, maybe some good can come from this: I, like many Republicans, would leap at the chance to rein in the power of the Executive Branch altogether. Hopefully, we can develop some bipartisan consensus – given the newfound concerns of my colleagues across the aisle about Article 1 Authority,” Perry wrote.


U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-11th District:

“As I’ve said before, the President has made a strong case for a national emergency declaration at our border. He is acting within his authority and I still support his decision to declare an emergency on the Southern Border, Smucker wrote in a Facebook post. “That’s why I voted against the resolution to terminate the emergency order today in the House.”

U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-13th District:

“Two facts are abundantly clear – we have a crisis at our southern border and the President has the legal authority to declare a national emergency to address it,” Joyce said in a statement. “In recent years, the number of large migrant groups crossing the southern border has skyrocketed and since 2012 our U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have seized more than 11 million pounds of drugs between ports of entry. The best way to combat these developments, as evidenced by the successes we have seen in places like El Paso, Tuscan and Yuma, is to allocate adequate funding for physical barriers in the places where we need them.

“While I vigorously advocated for Congress to use its legislative authority to properly secure our border, Democrats had no interest in making a good faith attempt to do so and the President was right to take the action their partisan games forced upon him.

“Presidents of both parties have contributed to the 31 national emergencies currently in place, many of them addressing concerns far less important than combating our drug crisis and protecting our sovereignty, which is why I stand firmly behind President Trump in his effort to keep Americans safe and secure the border.”

U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-14th District:

U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-15th District:

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16th District:

“President Trump declared a national emergency on our southern border to fix a problem that has existed for decades and has consistently dodged a legislative solution. Illegal immigrants, drugs, crime, and other threats to the safety and security of the American people are easily crossing our border,” Kelly said in a statement released by his office. Action must be taken. The President and Republicans in Congress for months sought a legislative solution to this emergency and Democrats refused to negotiate in good faith, instead prioritizing politics over good policy for Americans. Now, through this resolution of disapproval, Democrats are attempting to state that no such emergency exists. They also cast the President as lawless, stating that his legal authority to declare the emergency does not exist. They are wrong on both counts, and if they want to end this emergency, they should come back to the table, drop the ‘resistance,’ and adequately fund border security.

U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-17th District:

“After the government shutdown, members of Congress on both sides finally came together and did our jobs.  We negotiated, compromised, and reached a bipartisan agreement on funding for border security that passed the House and the Senate with broad bipartisan majorities.  The President signed that bill into law, and then declared a national emergency in an attempt to spend more money than we had agreed to.

“The problem is that the President can’t pay for this emergency, unless he takes money from other important projects like the new construction planned at our own reserve Air Force base in Moon Township.  This $85 million project will create more than 200 jobs and have a $200 million impact on our local economy.

“Today I voted to keep those jobs and that money here.  Congress and the Administration need to work together and respect each other’s authority if we want real solutions to secure our borders, reform our outdated immigration system, and keep our government functioning without the threat of a shutdown every few months.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-18th District:

“I voted for … the resolution ending the President’s ridiculous fake emergency. As dozens of respected former national security officials wrote the other day, the facts don’t justify declaring a national emergency along our southern border. By the President’s own admission, his emergency declaration is an attempted end-run around Congress in order to get more money for his wall this year. Moreover, doing so within hours of Congress approving legislation denying him that money makes it clear that this is nothing less than a reckless, unwise effort to undermine the separation of powers and the control over government spending vested in Congress by the Constitution. I’m very concerned that many of my colleagues failed to stand up in defense of the Constitution.”

Capital-Star Washington Reporter Robin Bravender contributed to this story.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.