• CO-HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH: But how do lawmakers within the President’s party feel about it? Colorado GOP Congressman Ken Buck joins us now with his take. Good morning!
o UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE FROM COLORADO’S FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, KEN BUCK: Good morning.
• ZESBAUGH: First off: you joined us a few days ago and said you didn’t like the bipartisan spending plan that was headed to the President’s desk. But is signing it the right thing to do today to at least keep the government open, do you think?
o BUCK: I think it’s necessary to keep the government open. I think the President has done everything he can with Congress to secure the southern border, to try to make sure that we are inhibiting the flow of drugs into this country. And unfortunately, the President got less money for building a barrier [with] this bill than he did before he demanded the $5 billion in December.
• CO-HOST MARTY LENZ: Congressman, you also weren’t a fan of the emergency declaration. You felt the previous administration overreached with that, and you shared that with us a couple days [ago], as well. But I’m also wondering, two things be true: signing the bill [is] the right thing, but probably – in your estimation, because the President wants to do this – signing this bill is a failure in part as well.
o BUCK: It’s a failure of Congress, certainly. The fact that the Congress is not recognizing the terrible situation we have in this country with heroin, the fact that this Congress is not recognizing the terrible situation we have with transnational gangs that are crossing our southern border, I think is a failure. I think the emergency is that Congress is not acting when it knows the facts.
• ZESBAUGH: Doesn’t an emergency declaration like this by a Republican president set up a precedent for Democratic presidents in the future to say, “Hey, I think climate change is an emergency. I think gun control is an emergency.” Do you worry about that?
o BUCK: I worry about that, but I recognize that Democratic presidents in the past have absolutely overceeded [sic] the authority that Congress has given them. President Carter declared over a million acres of Alaska wilderness off – out of bounds for drilling. President Obama did the same thing in Utah. So, the Democratic presidents have already used the Antiquities Act. President Obama declared a national emergency because of the drug situation on our southern border and because of the gang situation in northern Mexico. So, the declaration of emergency is something that has been used over 30 times since it was passed by Congress. This is nothing new. The Democrats want to make it sound like some new overreach. The reality is it has been used by a lot of presidents for a lot of different reasons.
• LENZ: Congressman, so he can declare the emergency, but this is probably going to be tied up in the courts. Do you think it will ever get out? Do you think actually something like this will take place and happen, and the border wall will be built, by doing this method?
o BUCK: I think the key is – I don’t think anybody thinks that we’re going to have a border wall from – you know, across our entire southern border anytime soon. I think the key is that there are some high traffic areas and walls would be a significant help, and hopefully we get that done. If declaring an emergency means we end up in the courts, if we ever do face an invasion, if we ever do face a national emergency and the President declares an emergency and different groups can go to court, it’s a farce. And so, I think when the President declares an emergency, the only answer that people have that object to it is to not re-elect that president. And that’s something that this president is going to have to deal with on the election trail. I frankly think that the United States is looking for strength and leadership right now. I think that the President is demonstrating strength with a serious threat.
o BUCK: Thank you.
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