WASHINGTON, Ill. (WEEK) — Central Illinois Democrats are opposed to a declaration of a national emergency by President Donald Trump Friday morning to build a wall on the country’s southern border, while area Republicans are relatively quiet.
After announcing he would sign a bipartisan budget deal to avoid another government shutdown, Trump announced he would declare a national emergency to obtain more funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“President Trump’s national emergency declaration serves one purpose and one purpose only: to fulfill his campaign promise to build a big, beautiful wall. While the President claims he wants to build this wall to stop the flow of drugs, his own Administration has stated that the vast majority of lethal narcotics that cross our southern border come through legal ports of entry,” said U.S. Sen Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) “That is why our bipartisan agreement to fund the government provides additional funding for technology and Customs personnel – real solutions that will help stop the narcotics that our killing our kids.”
“I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster,” said Trump. “And I didn’t have to do it for the election. I’ve already done a lot of wall for the election 2020. The only reason we’re up here talking about this is because of the election, because they want to try and win an election, which it looks like they’re not going to be able to do. This is one of the ways they think they can possibly win it by obstruction and a lot of other nonsense.”
Trump said he believes the country is facing an “invasion,” with “drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) said she would work to ensure $3.6 billion in military construction funds diverted to help build a border wall wouldn’t impact the Peoria Air National Guard Base or the Rock Island Arsenal.
“On the campaign trail, President Trump promised Mexico would pay for the border wall more than 200 times. Now, he’s declaring a national emergency to pay for it and diverting billions in critical military construction funds – jeopardizing our national security and breaking a promise to our men and women in uniform,” said Bustos. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure that the very military construction funds for projects at the Peoria Air National Guard Base and the Rock Island Arsenal aren’t diverted for this power grab by the administration.”
No area Republicans have publicly commented on the president’s national emergency declaration, though Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) has tweeted about the bipartisan budget deal Friday. U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) is currently deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border with his Air Guard unit.
U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) has not commented on the national emergency declaration, but said Thursday night he does not believe the budget legislation went far enough to ensure border security.