In our opinion: After blocking Trump's national emergency, Congress needs to claw back its power

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  • kbee Syracuse, UT
    March 16, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    The senators did this To stop future abuse of power by democrats. It won’t stop that. It’s to naive to think they can reverse executive powers regarding emergencies. It’s subjective and decided by who’s got the most power. They aren’t clawing back any powers that they don’t already have.

  • kbee Syracuse, UT
    March 16, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    The senators did this To stop future abuse of power by democrats. It won’t stop that. It’s to naive to think they can reverse executive powers regarding emergencies. It’s subjective and decided by who’s got the most power. They aren’t clawing back any powers that they don’t already have.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 9:29 p.m.

    I might agree with the author except Congress has not fulfilled its obligation to the American people in having proper border security ensuring the sovereignty of this country. There is an appropriate aphorism, but, it is not for tender ears. Suffice it to say, Trump has said he is for America first, meaning we can and should do good around the world, but not at the price of cutting our own throats. Not many Democrats and never-Trumpers agree. So the old joke about opposites -pro and con; i.e. progress and Congress. Unfortunately for us Americans.

  • 1Foryourconsideration Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 4:45 p.m.

    It has always been within congress' purview to rescind or amend this law in order to restore the balance of powers of the Executive. No action has been taken other than "concern" expressed with furrowed brows accompanied by "harrumphing" for the cameras. Both parties have had super-majorities within the last decades yet nothing was done. For all the heartfelt angst expressed by both House and Senate members - including UT senators Lee and Romney - the actual actions are nonexistent. No one with any understanding of the Constitution desires an actual usurpation of the enumerated powers, yet congress had little concern in abdicating large segments of their powers to the Executive with little complaint. No one took their lunch money. They couldn't give it away fast enough in favor of more fundraising and less work. President Trump is not a creature of D.C. He is a NY real estate developer who knows how to get things done no matter the difficulty. Bemoan his methods, vocabulary, posture, and combativeness yet the results are manifest. Pretty in ain't. So what.

  • Anonymous100 Anywhere, UT
    March 15, 2019 4:28 p.m.

    I am a Trump supporter, but before Trump or any leader, I support the Constitution. I do not support the use of presidential emergency powers to redirect funds for a border wall/barrier. This should be done legislatively. He and the DHS need to take the message to the American public and gain their support and toss the Democrats out for encouraging and allowing illegal immigration - for Democrat VOTES!

    What I object to is that Obama did much of the same thing with his phone and pen during his presidency and ruled be executive fiat and there wasn't so much as a peep from either party. It is time to reign in unilateral presidential powers; however, we should not reign in a Republican president and not hold a Democrat president to the exact same standard. Either we support the Constitution, or we do not. If we do not, then the country is lost.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    March 15, 2019 4:14 p.m.

    What REALLY needs to happen is for voters to come to their senses and vote EVERY one of our current Congress out of office and replace them with people who will place America before their party.

  • No One Of Consequence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 3:05 p.m.

    The only reason anyone is talking about Emergency Powers is that this time it is about shaking up the status quo on illegal immigration. But the political donor class does not want any changes because they benefit from illegal immigration, so doing nothing is the thing to do. Funny how the goal of Progressives is to prevent progress.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 15, 2019 2:58 p.m.

    @2 bits "I agree. But why did you not care or complain about this until now?"

    What do you mean? I complained loudly when Obama did this. He's not the president anymore.

    This isn't a party thing. I don't belong to a party. It's an American thing.

  • Unreconstructed Reb BE, 00
    March 15, 2019 2:40 p.m.

    No, 2 bits, your argument is hollow. You don't get to sit there and bemoan the failures of Congress to act on issues needing our attention, and in the same breath defend a president who is usurping a power that no predecessor has before. It's a wholly inconsistent position.

    Presidents have waged a back and forth with Congress over their powers since the beginning. Sometimes they win out, sometimes Congress overrides them, and sometimes the judiciary overrules them. Everything you're complaining of falls into that realm.

    But no one has tried grabbing the powers of the purse like this before. If you can't see how that glaring detail separates this situation from all the others, and why that compelled a number of senators from Trump's own party to vote against him, then you are indeed missing the core issue of what is happening.

    This is unprecedented, but you categorize it with everything that has happened before, and as a result have normalized it with everything that has happened before. That is a mistake.

    You can't complain that Congress has given up too much and then shrug off executive efforts to grab more without owning the blame for the very thing you complain of.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 15, 2019 2:30 p.m.

    @ Red Smith

    "In 24 hours a gang banger can cross the border and be in Utah. That's a fact."

    That is peddling fear and that needs to be called out.

    Utah has plenty of gangs and gang members now and most of them are home-grown.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 15, 2019 2:08 p.m.

    @Reb1:43
    RE: "You guys don't even understand what Congress voted on yesterday or why"...
    ---
    It's you who doesn't understand that we are talking about a more broad context. Not just yesterday. But the years and years Congress has been making itself irrelevant (because they can't do anything, because of partisanship).

    The discussion here isn't limited to yesterday. Take a step back and look at the whole problem, not just one instance of the problem. The whole history of Congress being unable to do anything, so Presidents have to do something anyway.

    We don't have to limit our conversation to abuses involving the power-of-the-purse just because you want it limited to that one instance. We can also discuss President's overriding Congress because they won't act on Immigration/DACA, ACA, etc... any priority the President feels is urgent but Congress won't do anything.

    We don't have to limit discussion to one instance, or one President, or just President's overriding Congress on spending. This is a bigger issue. And it goes way back. Before 2016. If you can broaden your focus.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 15, 2019 1:58 p.m.

    2 bits,

    The wall was a discussion point in the campaign you are correct, you did however mention that the discussion point was Mexico was paying for it which he said over 200 times. He also did discuss all the gang members crossing the border in the campaign, but what about the first year of his presidency? Not so much. He promised better health care at a lower cost covering more people on day one of his presidency. Didn't happen. He had a chance to get a big beautiful 25 billion dollar wall his first year and he walked away from the deal.

    My point is, it is a problem, not an emergency. It only became an emergency when he thought he could send troops to the border and scare people into voting for Republicans in the mid terms and then again when Ann and Rush called him out at Christmas time.

    I can agree that something needs to be done on the border and has needed to be done for years. Both parties are at fault. But an emergency is different than a problem and circumventing congress to get what you want is a problem, and I don't care who did it before, and yes you are right congress is the bigger problem both R's and D's. They have become useless and non functional.

  • AlagnakLounger Heber City, UT
    March 15, 2019 1:47 p.m.

    @unrepentant progressive

    Here's your post with "Obama" substituted for "Trump" and it's exactly how we felt for eight years.

    "I don't really know how you can knock this editorial."

    "I am sure [Obama] supporters will find a way and we should be mindful of their arguments."

    To date, most of those [Obama] talking points point to a dangerous mindset that allows unilateral power to one person. Decidely not the intent of our founders and inimical to Constitutional principles."

  • Unreconstructed Reb BE, 00
    March 15, 2019 1:43 p.m.

    "However, you and your ilk forget that it was Conservatives who were saying that all of the powers that Congress has signed over to the President should be looked at and cut off."

    Then why in the world are you supporting Trump's grab of Article I appropriations powers to do the very thing you claim to have been warning us of? That makes no sense at all.

    Oh, wait. He's doing it for a policy *you* support. So much for standing on your conservative principles.

    "They were Silent when Obama did the Dream Act even when he said he didn't have the power to do it."

    Tell me again where Obama infringed on the power of the purse to reprogram funds appropriated by Congress to fund an ill-defined project with no cost estimate that won't solve the problem, that a majority of Americans oppose, and which Congress explicitly refused to support.

    You guys don't even understand what Congress voted on yesterday or why.

    "Most national emergencies declared since the National Emergencies Act of 1974 passed are still active today."

    The power to declare emergencies isn't the Constitutional issue here, nor is their duration. Again, completely whiffing on what's happening here.

  • No One Of Consequence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 1:18 p.m.

    If Congress really wanted to exercise their responsibilities they could start by producing an actual budget instead of running the government on continuing resolutions.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 15, 2019 12:55 p.m.

    @Nate 10:50
    RE: "By default, an emergency should expire"...
    ---
    I agree. But why did you not care or complain about this until now?

    Most national emergencies declared since the National Emergencies Act of 1974 passed are still active today.

    There are currently 28 active national emergencies in America today.

    Google "Here are the 28 active national emergencies - CNNPolitics - CNN"...
    ---
    "George W. Bush declared 13 emergencies and Barack Obama declared 12 -- nearly all of which are still active today. Bill Clinton declared 17 national emergencies, six of which are still active. Ronald Reagan declared six and George H.W. Bush declared four -- but all of those have been revoked by now"...

    The first declaration under the National Emergencies Act of 1974 is still active today (Iran hostage crisis).

    Why is that still active today?

    Why does Congress not care if that one expires?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 15, 2019 12:30 p.m.

    @Fred44
    RE: "President Trump took office apparently no emergency because this was not a discussion point"...
    ---
    You don't remember Trump talking about Illegal Immigration, and a wall, before he took office? Seriously?

    It was a discussion-point in his campaign. And the first 2 years he was in office. But nothing got done (in Congress). So he felt he had to declare it an Emergency so they would do something, or he would have to act without them (like President Obama finally decided to do when he wrote his Executive Order on Immigration, after years of Congress refusing to do anything, or pass anything)

    It only became an Emergency because Congress refused to act in the first 2 years. If they had done something about border security then... he wouldn't have had to go over their heads and declare it an emergency later.

    I know it's Republican's fault. Especially Republican leadership. They are the reason nothing got done in the first 2 years.

    They don't like Trump. He's not one of them. He's not an Establishment-Republican. Trump was the non-Establishment candidate in the Republican Primary. Est-Republicans dislike Trump almost as much as they dislike Democrats.

  • Rubydo Provo, UT
    March 15, 2019 12:25 p.m.

    Trump has every right to use the national defense budget to defend our nation from foreign invaders. Mike Lee doesn’t think it’s constitutional to defend our border but seems to think his socialist cradle to grave act is.

    We might as well change the name of the Department of Defense to the department of war and regime change since that’s all it has become.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 15, 2019 12:18 p.m.

    Congress has become almost irrelevant, and needs to take it's power back. But I disagree that it started with Trump.

    I've been complaining about Congress willingly giving away their power to the Executive Branch, and Presidents overreach and constantly overriding Congress for a long time.

    It's mostly Congress' fault (IMO). They kinda force the President/Executive Branch to act and override Congress, because they refuse to do anything, or pass anything, until it's an Emergency. Even a budget.

    Obama had to override them on Border Security (with an Executive Order) because Congress failed to pass anything.

    Presidents who have to deal with a "Do Nothing Congress" often decided to do something themselves (if Congress won't act).

    We always have a "Party of No"... People in Congress who won't let ANYTHING get done.

    -When Obama was President... Republicans were the party-of-no.
    -Bush era... Democrats were the party-of-no (and pledged to block everything Bush wanted, and to make him a one-term-president)
    -Today Democrats are the party-of-no again.

    In the past Congress did nothing when Pres overrode them. I'm glad they're finally deciding to become Relevant.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 15, 2019 11:35 a.m.

    President Trump took office apparently no emergency because this was not a discussion point. End of President Trumps first year no emergency because this was not even talked about. Right before the mid-term in year two apparently there was an emergency because we sent troops to the border. The emergency apparently ended around Thanksgiving (after the election) because we sent troops home again. Then the emergency occurred at Christmas when Rush and Ann called the President out on the wall, but it wasn't enough of an emergency to send troops. But now it is an emergency to that requires the President to go around congress to build a little section of wall in a few years, but not enough of an emergency that we need troops.

    Hard to follow how this constitutes an emergency to simply build part of a wall that the President promised over 200 times that Mexico would be paying for.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    March 15, 2019 11:34 a.m.

    There was too much ID politics, too much unfair trade, too many illegal aliens, too many radical ideas about free stuff and Obamacare...and Trump stepped into the void to fill the need.

    Interestingly, Congress continues to act as if nothing happened. Both parties are still out-of-touch.

    The Democrat candidates are doubling down with far-left solutions. The GOP cowers, hoping to maintain the status quo of power

    Media outlets continue to spout the nonsensical narrative that immigration control=racism.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 15, 2019 10:50 a.m.

    Mike Lee: keep pushing on this. By default, an emergency should expire. If it continues to be an emergency, Congress can acknowledge it and provide continued support.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    March 15, 2019 10:39 a.m.

    "I will bet when the democrats take the white house and congress again which they will eventually no party stays in power forever they try to do a national emergency on something and I highly doubt not one democrat will say no......"

    And that is why we need to role back some of this power. We need to keep Congress, or the White House from being able to act unilaterally on anything. We don't want Congress to make it their mission to make any President fail, else the whole thing fails. There needs to be incentive to work together, on common goals, through compromise legislation, that no side feels they had their way over the other side.

    If only one side feels they are winning, then the system will fail. It relies on balance between the three parts. Balance - not domination.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    March 15, 2019 10:38 a.m.

    Yes, now they can focus on upping our debt even more.

  • Red Smith , 00
    March 15, 2019 10:39 a.m.

    We are not safe. Crime, drugs, violence, rape, MS-13, terrorists are flooding in our neighborhoods.

    So disappointed in Utah Senator Lee and Romney. We are not safe. Congress has failed our nation for decades with thousands dead, assaulted, and raped.

    Regardless of party, we must have law and order which includes border security. In 24 hours a gang banger can cross the border and be in Utah. That's a fact.

  • drich Green River, Utah
    March 15, 2019 10:19 a.m.

    Lee and Mitt lost my vote.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    March 15, 2019 10:04 a.m.

    The number one purpose of government is to protect its people.

    If it's just one person or a million you protect the ones you represent!

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    March 15, 2019 9:51 a.m.

    To "unrepentant progressive" this is my response to you "wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center."

    But the word ilk means "sort or kind". If you don't like being associated with the Progressives, then change your mindset and change your ilk.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 15, 2019 9:10 a.m.

    Redshirtcaltech

    You lost your point by repeated use of the word "ilk". This does not educate, it inflames.

    However, that must be precisely the way you wish to handle this.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    March 15, 2019 9:01 a.m.

    President Trump is a blessing to get "nothing gets done Congress" to move and do their job for the citizens of this country.

  • deseret pete Springville, UT
    March 15, 2019 8:45 a.m.

    Nancyblv -- They were Silent when Obama did the Dream Act even when he said he didn't have the power to do it. So you are right -- they would be silent if a Democratic pres. did it again. Those republicans senators who voted against it felt they were doing the right thing but offered no solutions to the Emergency at the border

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    March 15, 2019 8:45 a.m.

    This editorial is not unexpected from a pro-amnesty newspaper. While addressing the balance of power, it fails to mention the third player - the court. And circuit court injunctions are way out-of-hand. Yet that doesn't seem to bother the editor.

    Curiously, the editor offers no solution to the immigration problem, a problem for decades now. The message from 2016 was that the voters were tired of talk and wanted action. They voted for a president candid enough to speak his mind about the problem.

    Outside the political realm, the average American wants to see solutions. The old saying, "People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it," still rings true for Americans.

    Now and then an Andrew Jackson or Teddy Roosevelt comes along and makes waves through bold action.

    Trump has already disappointed many of us for lacking the boldness we had hoped for. (Not that it has been easy to press forward each day.)

    Time will tell.

    But complaining about process while ignoring the REASON for the problem in the first place is short-sighted at best.

    The editor misses the mark.

  • bill4570 ,
    March 15, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    I can (sort of anyway) understand the need for halting an impasse from the senate and congress by an executive order on some occasions, especially during a REAL national emergency. The definition of a REAL emergency no doubt would be subject to translation.

    None the less, it is quite clear that trump is overstepping the authority given him to use "national emergency" as a fear factor in trying to get his way. He has done enough by separating families at the southern border to begin with. That to me is a true "national Emergency." Tragic indeed.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 15, 2019 8:14 a.m.

    @unrepentant progressive - Bozeman, MT
    March 15, 2019 6:11 a.m.
    I don't really know how you can knock this editorial.
    I am sure Trump supporters will find a way and we should be mindful of their arguments."

    See post from nancybLV.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    March 15, 2019 8:10 a.m.

    To "unrepentant progressive" we will most likely see a lot of your ilk using this to bash Trump. However, you and your ilk forget that it was Conservatives who were saying that all of the powers that Congress has signed over to the President should be looked at and cut off. Congress should do their job as listed in the Constitution and not give their powers to the President.

  • moderator_123 Martinsburg, WV
    March 15, 2019 7:51 a.m.

    67 senators are required for a veto-proof majority, not 60

  • nancybLV Saratoga Springs, UT
    March 15, 2019 7:00 a.m.

    I will bet when the democrats take the white house and congress again which they will eventually no party stays in power forever they try to do a national emergency on something and I highly doubt not one democrat will say no......

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 15, 2019 6:11 a.m.

    I don't really know how you can knock this editorial.

    I am sure Trump supporters will find a way and we should be mindful of their arguments.

    To date, most of those Trump talking points point to a dangerous mindset that allows unilateral power to one person. Decidely not the intent of our founders and inimical to Constitutional principles.