Menendez Statement on Senate Vote to Keep Government Open and Trump Plan to Declare National Emergency on Southern Border

Menendez Statement on Senate Vote to Keep Government Open and Trump Plan to Declare National Emergency on Southern Border

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez released the below statement immediately following the Senate vote on bipartisan funding legislation to avert another Trump shutdown, and in response to the report that President Trump plans to declare a national emergency along the southern border:

“On behalf of the thousands of public servants in my state who went without a paycheck during the Trump Shutdown, and have been on pins and needles worrying they will again be held hostage, I am relieved the Senate was able to come together and pass a bipartisan compromise agreement in order to keep our government open.

“Let’s be clear:  There’s no “victory” in upholding our basic responsibility to fund the government, especially when this shutdown never should have happened in the first place.  And it is shameful that the President threatened to veto any compromise legislation which would provide back pay to federal contracted workers – like so many I met just weeks ago in South Jersey.   We will continue to fight until each and every worker is made whole.

“While I’m not happy with everything in the legislation, this bipartisan bill is proof of what Democrats have been saying all along – we will not give this President billions upon billions in taxpayer money to build an ineffective border wall he promised Mexico would pay for.

“That’s why I am greatly disturbed to learn President Trump is preparing to disregard the rule of law and declare a national emergency in order to force the American people to pay for the same wall that their elected representatives in Congress just rejected.

“There’s no emergency at the border beyond the humanitarian crisis created by the Trump Administration’s cruel anti-immigrant policies of separating families, purposefully restricting admission at authorized ports of entry and denying families fleeing horrific violence the ability to present their asylum cases.

“This was true before he shut the government down.  And it remains true today.

“Should the President go down this path, it would be a gross abuse of power.  National emergencies must be based on facts and not concocted to get around the democratic process. This reckless decision will be challenged in court and will only further our divisions as a nation.”

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