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Congressman Mike Bost

Representing the 12th District of Illinois

Bost Statement on Emergency Declaration Vote

February 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) today made the following statement after voting against legislation that would block the President from carrying out his national emergency declaration to protect the southern border.

“Border security is national security,” said Bost. “If you look at the security and humanitarian crisis at our border, it’s pretty tough to say with a straight face that this isn’t an emergency. The President is using the legal tools that are available. This includes a law that goes back to 1976 and has been used dozens of times allowing him to declare this emergency. Nobody's ever challenged or questioned the constitutionality until now. The only difference now is not what’s at stake—its who’s occupying the White House. This vote is nothing more than a political stunt by Nancy Pelosi to appease the fringe elements of her party.”

PAST USES OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS:

• Presidents have declared nearly 60 national emergencies since the National Emergencies Act was passed in 1976.

• There were 31 ongoing national emergencies when President Trump declared the national emergency at our border, bringing the total number currently in effect to 32.  

  • These ongoing national emergencies are reviewed every year by the President—and renewed as appropriate.

• In fact, President Obama declared a national emergency to deal with the threat of transnational criminal organizations, including cartels operating on our southern border.

• Presidents have regularly issued national emergency declarations to address problems overseas. 

  • President Clinton declared a national emergency in response to the blood diamond trade in Sierra Leone.  
  • President Obama declared national emergencies related to situations in Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine, South Sudan, Burundi, and more.

• National emergencies have also been used to address problems domestically, such as when President Obama declared a national emergency in response to the swine flu. 

• Between 2001 and 2013, DOD undertook 18 emergency military construction projects using the same emergency construction authority President Trump has invoked.

 

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