Presidents’ Day Rally and OC Congress Members Oppose Trump “Emergency”

(Lalo Alcaraz)

Members of Indivisible CA-39 rally in Brea Monday afternoon “to protest the Trump Administration’s money grab through a made-up national emergency declared on Feb. 15, 2019.”

“This blatant abuse of power circumvents Congress’s authority over the spending of taxpayer dollars, and is nothing short of a raid on the executive branch’s funds, all in the name of an unnecessary, ineffective, and wasteful wall at the southern border,” reads an announcement from the progressive group, which was key in Democrat Gil Cisneros winning the congressional seat abandoned by Ed Royce (R-Brea).

The statement continues: “This phony emergency will see money taken away from military projects and other federal agencies, bypassing Congress and the process of governmental checks and balances–which is unacceptable. We oppose President Trump’s unlawful declaration of a national emergency and demand that it be terminated as outlined in the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which expressly provides a procedure for Congress to end a state of emergency by passing a resolution of disapproval.

“Congress has never used that procedure before, but this sham of a national emergency is precisely why that procedure was written into the law in the first place.”

The “Protest the Fake National Emergency” rally is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. Monday at the corner of State College Boulevard and Imperial Highway.

Cisneros, whose district straddles Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, released a statement of his own today in response to Trump’s national emergency.

“The president’s decision to declare a national emergency at the border is an abuse of power and an affront to our Constitution,” he says. “There is no emergency, this is a manufactured crisis through his campaign of xenophobia and bigotry. There is a real need for humanitarian aid at the border and the decision to build an ineffective wall will only punish those that need help.

“This declaration could take billions of dollars of disaster-relief aid from families looking to rebuild in California and Puerto Rico, endanger both military construction projects and our military readiness, and prevent infrastructure projects from moving forward across the country.”

He adds that Trumps’ move spurred him to co-sponsor a joint resolution of disapproval against the national emergency declaration introduced by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas).

“I fully support this bill, in accordance with the process described in the National Emergencies Act, to hold the president accountable and terminate his emergency declaration,” Cisneros says.

“The wall is a 12th century solution to a 21st century problem, when it comes to border security. We must take action towards comprehensive immigration reform that will keep families together, protect DREAMers and those with Temporary Protected Status, and streamline the process towards citizenship.”

Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) sent out an email today stating that the border situation is not a national emergency but among the things that could be are, “climate change, the opioid epidemic, gun violence, crumbling infrastructure, a dangerous relationship with Russia, corporate influence in elections, our inequitable and broken health care system—the list goes on.”

Rouda then seeks to “clear this up: By law, a president can declare a ‘national emergency’ during a real national emergency. Our laws do not empower the president to imagine a military crisis as a justification for his construction project.”

He then ticks off “things that are not a national emergency,” which include: “failure to get the desired result from your made-for-TV meltdown; failure to garner enthusiasm to construct a multi-billion dollar monument to your ego; [and] inability to deliver on the promise that ‘Mexico will pay for the wall.’

“We don’t want your wall, we don’t need your emergencies. How about this President’s Day, Donald Trump start acting like the leader we need.”

Rep. Mike Levin (D-Dana Point), who is a lawyer, today tweeted, “For the president to declare a national emergency to pay for a presidential priority when Congress won’t is a direct threat to the congressional powers provided by the Constitution.”

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), whose 47th district includes parts of Orange County, tweeted:”Today, President Trump declared a national emergency–though saying that he ‘didn’t need to do this.’ There is no rational justification for this and Congress will do everything in its power to block this non-emergency declaration power grab! #FakeTrumpEmergency.”

That hashtag also appears in a tweet from Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood), whose mostly Southeastern LA County-based 38th district includes Orange County’s La Palma: “The president simply doesn’t understand checks and balances. #FakeTrumpEmergency.”

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Anaheim) took to Twitter on the eve of Trump’s announcement with: “Quite the emergency @realDonaldTrump waited 41 days to declare.” Today, Correa retweeted this from the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Tal Kopan: “‘I didn’t need to do this,’ Trump says of an emergency declaration that his attorneys will have to defend in court was justified by an emergency…
‘I just want to get it done faster, that’s all.'”

In anticipation of Trump’s move, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) tweeted Thursday: “The real emergency in this country is the lack of presidential leadership.”

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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