February 5, 2019

Republicans are very nervous about the prospect of Trump declaring a national emergency to get his wall, and the Morning Joe panelists explain why.

"A number of Senate Republicans are pushing back at the president's threat to declare a national emergency in order to build his border wall. GOP members are increasingly speaking out against the move, shooting down the possible path for the president to get his wall," Mika Scarborough said.

"Republicans including Senator John Cornyn and others have made efforts to steer the president away from going away from Congress."

CORNYN: I think it's a dangerous step. One, because of the precedent it sets. Two, the president's going to get sued and it won't succeed in accomplishing his goal. And third, Ms. Pelosi may introduce a proposal that will divide the house and come over here as Republicans. To me, it strikes me as not a good strategy.

"As Harry Truman would say, 'Let's mark him down as undecided,' " Joe Scarborough said.

"As you heard Senator Cornyn say, a declaration by the president could result in Congress trying to block a resolution of disapproval. If the Democratic-controlled House passed the resolution, the Senate would be required to take it up. The president would then be forced to veto the measure intended to block him. He doesn't want this.

"First of all, it's unconstitutional. Of all the examples of Donald Trump's own words, used against him by federal judges, no worse example for Donald Trump than this, where he's basically said I'm going to negotiate and if I don't get exactly what I want, I'm going to declare a national emergency," he said.

"There's not a federal judge anywhere appointed by any president that would uphold that. Worse than that, Michael, you've heard Republicans just like me, it gives future Democratic administrations the ability to say, wait a second, there's a school shooting, 36 kids were gunned down and killed -- this is the third month in a row. I'm going to declare a national emergency like Donald Trump did with the wall, we're going to talk about public safety and we're going to go ahead and I'm just going to sign into law those national background checks. I'm going to just sign into law a ban on military-style assault weapons, I'm going to sign into law a ban on bump stocks and go down the steps. Because, again, you actually do have a number of deaths directly related -- that is a national emergency, most Americans would agree."

"I think you hit it right on the head," Michael Steele said.

"It was very interesting the way Cornyn laid out his three points. The first one dealt with what you just raised and the third one dealt with the other political problem, which is when it gets to the Senate, defections to walk away from the president. The Republicans do not want the embarrassment of that, number one. But the other legislative problem is the one you just put your finger on.

"They know this all comes back around real soon, potentially in 2020. And the reality of a Kamala Harris or any one of that particular, you know, philosophical point of view in the White House declaring a national emergency on not just the environment, the environment is going to be easy. It's on the stuff that cuts to the core of things like the Second Amendment."

Hmm. Maybe we like this national emergency thing!

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