Murkowski Votes to Uphold Separation of Powers

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) issued the following statement after voting on S.J. Res. 54, the National Emergency Declaration Resolution of Disapproval:

“My vote today is about ensuring we respect the separation and balance of powers that are fundamental to our democracy. The U.S. Constitution distinctly gives the legislative branch the power to appropriate. From the outset, I noted my opposition to this emergency declaration and what that meant, including my concern over diverting funds already appropriated for prioritized military construction projects. The administration’s recent announcement regarding the diversion of funds not only impacts important military construction projects in Alaska, but also many others across the nation,” said Senator Murkowski. “This is not about whether or not I support the President’s very legitimate concerns over border security, because I do. This is about the administration overstepping Constitutional authority, forcing Congress to relinquish power that is fundamentally ours. We have and will continue working to address border security—by securing all our borders. But, in the interest of ensuring America can trust the system of checks and balances we have in place, we must do so through the appropriate channels.”

On February 15, 2019, President Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border, which then diverted funding already appropriated for military construction and other projects toward protective barriers.

Background on Previous Border Security Efforts this Congress:

  • On January 24, Murkowski voted on two measures to reopen the government during the partial government shutdown. The first measure included an omnibus funding bill which included $5.7 billion in funding for border barriers.
  • On February 14, Murkowski voted for a funding bill package which included $22.543 billion for border security –including investments in physical barriers, law enforcement personnel, custody enhancements, humanitarian needs, and counter-narcotics and counter-weapons technology.
  • On January 20, Murkowski voted for a southern border emergency supplemental package, a funding measure to address the immediate humanitarian and security crisis at the U.S. southern border.

Related Issues: Defense