Press Releases

Nadler Statement in Support of Overriding President Trump's Veto of Resolution Nullifying National Emergency Declaration

Washington, DC, March 26, 2019

Today, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), delivered the following remarks, as prepared, in support of overriding President Trump's veto of H.J.Res. 46, a resolution to prevent the President from diverting military construction funds for an unnecessary wall at the southern border:

"Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of overriding the President's veto of H.J. Res. 46.

"One month ago, the House passed a bipartisan resolution to terminate the so-called "national emergency" declared by President Trump. The Senate has likewise voted on a broad bipartisan basis to reject that emergency declaration, leading President Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency.

"I am more convinced than ever that the President’s actions are not only unlawful; they are deeply irresponsible. A core foundation of our system of government—and of democracies across the world, going back hundreds of years—is that the executive cannot unilaterally spend taxpayers’ money without the legislature’s consent.
The President shredded that concept when he declared an “emergency” after he failed to get his way in a budget negotiation. And, as he often does, he announced his intention to ignore Congress in plain sight, for all the world to see.

"Meanwhile, hundreds of Americans have started receiving letters from the federal government demanding entry onto their land. Soon, our fellow citizens' backyards may be seized in order to build a medieval border wall that the Congress and the American people do not want.

"The senseless diversion of military resources to the southern border has also created concerns about our troops’ combat readiness and their ability to implement other key priorities. And the Trump Administration appears to be deciding on the fly which military construction projects they’re planning to raid—leaving our men and women in uniform, and everyone else who might be affected, in a prolonged state of uncertainty.

"This type of chaos and confusion is the inevitable result when the President ignores the express will of Congress.

"The Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing to discuss the National Emergencies Act, and to begin considering reforms to check abuses of this power. I was heartened by the enthusiasm on both sides of the aisle for such efforts, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on these proposals.

"But these longer-term reform efforts should not detract from our responsibility to address what the President is doing right now. President Trump’s invention of a so-called “national emergency” to suit his political goals is intolerable, and I am proud to cast my vote to override his veto.

"I yield back the balance of my time."