Burgess: Allow the President to Do His Job
On the House Floor, Dr. Burgess encouraged House Members to allow President Trump to do his job of protecting the American people and securing the southern border.
Read his full remarks:
I came to the Floor to urge Members to vote against this ill-advised resolution to disallow the President’s declaration for emergency funding on the border.
In 2006, I was in Congress when we voted for the Secure Fence Act. Under President Bush, over 400 miles of fence were built; under President Obama, an additional little-over of 100 miles were built; and, now President Trump has asked for a little over 200 miles to be built to provide security for America.
Now is it a national emergency? I will tell you - I had as my guest at the State of the Union someone who is referred to as an Angel Dad. This is an individual who went and put on a uniform. He fought for his country in Iraq. While he was there, unfortunately, his wife got ill and died. And now he’s a single dad, and he’s taking care of his only child, a daughter. And that daughter unfortunately was hit on the street by a car who was driven by someone who did not have legal status to be in this country.
Several months later, Chris comes to me, and he says, “Congressman, I did my job. I put on my uniform, I went and defended my country. Mr. Congressman, I did my job. If you had been doing yours, my daughter would be here today.”
President Trump has taken that mantle very seriously. It is his goal – it is his requirement – to defend our country at the southern border. And, the President will do just that.
If you read the history of emergency declarations in the past, you will find a number of them – some perhaps you might agree with, some perhaps you might disagree with. But, since the founding of our country, it has been recognized. It has been in the purview of the Article 2 powers of the President of the United States to be able to exercise that emergency declaration. It was codified in the 1970s in a law that is now the one that brings this resolution of disapproval forward today.
If you don’t like the law that allows the President to declare an emergency, change the law. You’re the majority. You control the Rules Committee. Change the law.
What’s interesting about this is last night in the Rules Committee when we considered Mr. Castro’s resolution, we didn’t consider it. We didn't have a single witness. Mr. Castro was non-viz. I felt like sending the Capitol Police out to find him. There was no one there to testify in favor of his resolution. And the Rules Committee seemed perfectly agreeable to accepting this without any debate whatsoever.
I urge Members to vote against this ill-advised motion to disallow the President’s declaration of an emergency. Allow the President to do the job he was elected to do and secure the southern border.
I yield back.
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