Montana congressional delegation reacts to Trump’s emergency declaration

Posted at 9:26 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 16:37:13-05

The three members of Montana’s congressional delegation reacted to President Trump’s Friday announcement that’s he’s declaring a national emergency to divert federal money to build a southern border wall.

The two Republicans, U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, both highlighted the need for heightened border security but stopped short of full-throated endorsements of an emergency declaration.

“I recently visited the southern border and saw the crisis firsthand. Violent cartels profit from illegally trafficking drugs and people into our nation through unsecured borders. The president must do what’s needed within his constitutional authority to secure the border and protect our country,” Gianforte said in a statement.

Daines added, “I was just down in the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the southern border with border patrol, and witnessed firsthand the consequences of a porous border. We’ve got a crisis on our hands with illegal drugs and illegal immigrants flooding across the border, destroying families and communities. The president has to do what’s necessary to protect our nation within his legal authority.”

The lone Democrat, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, blasted the plan.

“The President’s emergency declaration is a divisive and dangerous move that flies in the face of the Constitution. Montanans expect their lawmakers to work together to pass laws that keep our government running—and that’s what we did. The President’s defiance of those laws to raid our military construction resources will come at the expense of our state’s defense installations and threatens the checks and balances at the heart of our democracy,” Tester said.