Senator Murkowski Speaks on National Emergency Declaration, Upholding Separation of Powers

‘I view this as an expansion of executive powers by legislative acquiescence’

As the Senate prepares this month to vote on a joint resolution to terminate the President’s national emergency declaration, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke on the Senate floor on her support to uphold the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution.

Senator Murkowski Speaks on the Floor on her support to uphold the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution

CLICK HERE for video of Senator Murkowski’s floor speech.

Speech excerpts:

 “It is certainly not based on disagreement over the issue of border security on our southern border. I recognize full well that the situation on the border is one where the issues that face us with the level of those coming across our borders is not a sustainable situation and certainly the influx of drugs we see must be addressed. But rather my concern is really about the institution of the Congress and the Constitutional balance of powers that I think are just fundamental to our democracy.”

 “Sticking up for Congress' power of the purse doesn’t necessarily mean that that comes at the expense of border security. I believe very strongly we can address the President's concerns – the very, very real and legitimate concerns that need to be addressed – but we don't have to do it at the expense of ceding that power that we have.”

“The question really for us to consider in this body is not whether the President could have declared an emergency but should he have declared. The question as it relates to the redirection of military construction funds from our bases around the country to the southern border – these are the questions that we are debating currently.”

  • “In many ways, I view this as an expansion of executive powers by legislative acquiescence. If we fail to weigh in, if we fail to acknowledge that this designation has gone beyond that which has been previously considered, if we go around – effectively, the will of Congress – where does it take us next?”

  • “I'm concerned that as a Congress, as a legislative body, we would stand back, we would acquiesce in the use of a national emergency to resolve a disagreement between the executive and the legislative branches over the appropriate level of funding for a situation that likely exceeds what can be spent in our current fiscal year.”

Click here for text of the full speech.

Background: Senator Murkowski, along with U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 10 on February 28.