The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued sharp criticism of President Trumpon Friday ahead of his announcement of a national emergency on the border, saying the move would “erode” the country’s system of government.
“We have long fought against attempts by the executive branch to usurp the powers of Congress and to create law, such as we have seen in recent decades with the rise of the regulatory administrative state,” Chamber President Thomas Donohue wrote in a statement. “We have also fought against attempts by the Congress to usurp the power of the executive.
“The declaration of national emergency in this instance will create a dangerous precedent that erodes the very system of government that has served us so well for over 200 years,” Donohue continued.
“The U.S. Chamber urges the president not to attempt to declare a national emergency. Instead, we urge the president and members of Congress of both parties to negotiate and find common ground on immigration and border security.”
Shortly after the statement, Trump said he would be declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress and build his proposed wall along the southern border with Mexico. The controversial move is likely to spark a long court battle.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Thursday evening that Trump would sign a proposed compromise bill that would keep the federal government open while providing $1.375 billion for construction of barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. That figure falls well short of the $5.7 billion Trump had sought.
By declaring a national emergency, Trump intends to redirect funding from military construction projects and drug-interdiction programs to pay for the wall.