Joaquin Castro: Trump Doesn't Have Authority to Declare 'Fake' Emergency

February 14, 2019

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D., Texas) said Thursday that he opposes President Donald Trump's decision to declare a national emergency to seek more funding for a wall on the southern border, adding that he will seek to "terminate" the declaration through a joint resolution in the House.

Castro's comments came after the White House said earlier in the day that Trump will sign a spending bill that keeps the government open and also declare a national emergency.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Castro whether he believes Trump has the "legal standing" to take such a step to secure funding for a border wall.

"I don't," Castro responded. "I don't think that it's a national emergency. I think this would be a fake emergency."

"I am prepared, if the president does declare a national emergency to build his border wall, to file a joint resolution under the National Emergencies Act that would essentially terminate his declaration," Castro continued.

Castro added that he does not believe that Trump is fit to make such a declaration, and that Congress could override him.

"We would have a vote either on my resolution or somebody else's on the House floor, and it is my understanding that that resolution would have to be voted upon in the Senate," Castro said. "And there have been very critical comments that have been made by senators, including Republican senators, about the president's ability and the wisdom of declaring a national emergency for this purpose."

Castro went on to say that he believes that Trump has a limited ability to move money around within the Department of Homeland Security to build a border wall, and that he would "challenge" Trump if the president tried.

"We'll challenge him in Congress, we'll challenge him in the courts, and I think the American people will challenge the president," Castro said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) announced Thursday afternoon that Trump will sign a spending bill that provides less money than the president requested to build a border wall. McConnell also said that Trump will declare a national emergency to make up the difference for the money not provided in the legislation.