(This letter was sent to Congressman Andy Harris (R-1st) and forwarded to Ocean City Today)
Dear Congressman Harris,
I am writing to you today to express my extreme disappointment in your vote on House Joint Resolution 46 regarding the National Emergency declared by the President on February 15,2019.
Although the resolution managed to pass the U. S. House of Representatives and was subsequently passed by the U. S. Senate, it was vetoed by President Trump. When faced with a vote to override the president’s veto, you again elected to allow the president to divert funds previously appropriated by Congress for other projects, to now use these funds to construct his border wall.
This is in direct violation of Article 1 of the United States Constitution which specifies that Congress alone shall authorize funding of the various agencies of the federal government, not to mention the oath of office you took to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
President Trump had requested funding from Congress for construction of the border wall.
When the level of approved funding did not meet with the president’s requested level of funding, he proudly shutdown part of the federal government hoping to bully Congress to meet his funding demands.
To now permit the president to do an end-run around Congress in order to construct his vanity border wall project sets a dangerous precedent. What is to prevent this or future presidents from declaring national emergencies relating to such matters as climate change, gun violence, the opioid crisis, etc.?
In order to declare a national emergency, it is my understanding that the “crisis” needs to meet five tests. It must be sudden, unforeseen, urgent, necessary and not permanent. It is my belief that this border wall does not meet any of these criteria.
One only needs to look back to the 2016 presidential campaign to see that this was the major campaign promise of Candidate Trump and that Mexico would pay for it. With respect to an emergency at the southern border, I don’t hear the mayor of El Paso, Texas or other elected officials along the border nor do I hear affected property owners clamoring for the federal government to take action to alleviate this “crisis”.
Additionally, we are not seeing residents from the affected areas marching on Washington to petition their elected officials to take action on this issue.
During the leadup to the 2018 mid-term elections, the president was obsessed with the “caravans” that were headed to our southern border but once the election was over, the president stopped his rhetoric on this issue.
While the Trump Administration says that 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, it is my understanding that the vast majority of them come into our country through our airports.
Furthermore, it has been reported that the State Department says there hasn’t been any terrorists that they’ve found coming across the southern border with Mexico.
The Republican Party used to stand for such things as free trade, deficit reduction, entitlement reform, and nationalism.
And speaking of the national debt, it stood at $19,947,304,555,212.49 on Jan. 20, 2017 and as of March 25, 2019 stood at a whopping $22,027,998,543,525.24. Instead, today’s Republican Party stands for, among other things, voter suppression and defending any position that President Trump tweets.
And, in my opinion, far too many members of the party blindly follow the president to the point that they might be seen as his cheerleaders or perhaps they check their brains at the door when entering the House or Senate chambers.
Instead of draining the swamp in Washington, all this action has resulted in the swamp becoming even deeper!
I look forward to your response to this issue.
Harry W. Yeich