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Rep. Chu Statement on Passage of Consolidated Appropriations Bill & Proposed Emergency Declaration

February 15, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC — On Thursday, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) voted to pass the conference report to accompany H.J. Res 31, which provides funding for the Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Interior, State, Transportation, and other related agencies through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019.

“I’m relieved there could be a bipartisan agreement that avoided another harmful shutdown while also providing for necessary and positive appropriations that needed to be passed. That this bill is so similar to what President Trump was offered last year simply underscores just how unnecessary the 35-day Trump Shutdown was. And it showed that, when the President is removed from the equation, Congress is able to work together to craft bipartisan solutions like the one we have today. This is not the bill that I would have written myself, but it is a reasonable compromise that sticks with existing policy, prevents the construction of a xenophobic and wasteful concrete wall, and provides necessary funding for humanitarian assistance and actual border security that, unlike a wall, can keep our country safer. It is also superior to another continuing resolution which lacked environmental protections and would have allowed more money for more border wall construction. This bill also increases funding for the Census Bureau by $1 billion, secures a 1.9% pay raise for federal civilian workers, and increases the budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) by $763.9 million. I congratulate the conferees on their bipartisan work.

“But I am troubled by the President’s declaration of a national emergency. This declaration blatantly circumvents the will of Congress and is an obvious overreach that flies in the face of the Constitution and other existing laws. National emergencies should be saved for actual emergencies, not failing to get what you want out of Congress. And he can only justify it through a completely false narrative that a wall will have any impact on curbing crime or drug trafficking. This declaration will certainly be challenged in the courts but I fear the precedent that is being set by Republicans ceding constitutional authority to a dangerous executive.”

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