Murkowski worries about precedent with emergency declaration
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday said she worries about the precedent that could be set from President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to secure more money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Alaska Republican did not explicitly say whether she would support a resolution of disapproval if one came before the Senate.
But Murkowski told reporters that if lawmakers stand down and give in to Trump on this, what would stop the next president from declaring an emergency to get around Congress to achieve his or her priorities.
“I’ll be very direct. I don’t like this. I don’t like this,” she said. “I think it takes us down a road and with a precedent that if it’s allowed, that we may come to regret.”
Murkowski said she supports efforts to bolster security at the border but is concerned about an erosion of government checks and balances.
A recent border security compromise approved by Congress to avert another partial government shutdown included about $1.4 billion for border barriers, which is less than Trump wanted. But Murkowski said money attached to that compromise is “certainly as much as the administration can spend in this fiscal year” to advance Trump’s priorities.
Some states have sued, challenging the constitutionality of Trump’s declaration.
Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has said the Alaska National Guard stands ready, if called upon, to support border security efforts.
Murkowski took questions on the emergency declaration and other issues during a news conference after she delivered her annual address to a joint session of the Alaska Legislature. Such speeches are a tradition for the state’s U.S. senators and often used to provide updates on accomplishments or work going on in Washington, D.C., that affects Alaska.
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan is expected to give his speech Thursday.