Democratic governors blast Trump's "illegal" emergency declaration

Democratic govs: Trump's declaration "political punting"

Two Democratic governors blasted President Trump's declaration of a national emergency along the southern border, calling the order an illegal and politically motivated attempt to defy the will of Congress.

"The effort here on this political punting by Republicans and action by the president is really outrageous, because they're sowing fear, racism, hate and discrimination," Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "And it's all based on a president who has no intention of dealing with immigration policy or foreign policy in a productive way. He wants this wall, and he's lying to the American people."

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington said he will sue the administration over Mr. Trump's declaration as soon as the order "jeopardizes any federal expenditure in our state." House Democrats have introduced a resolution to reverse the order, and 16 states filed suit against the administration in federal court last week.

"I believe under our current system of democracy this action by this president is illegal and unconstitutional," Inslee said Sunday. "That's what I believe. And I think Republicans ought to stand up on their hind legs because they took an oath to the Constitution, not to Donald Trump, and reverse this decision. If that doesn't happen we need the judicial system to reverse this decision."

Mr. Trump announced the declaration of a national emergency at the border earlier in the month after signing a compromise bill to boost border security and avoid another government shutdown. The order frees up billions of dollars to fund the construction of physical barriers along the border.

Lujan Grisham ordered the majority of New Mexico's National Guard troops to withdraw from the border earlier in February, reversing a decision by her predecessor to deploy the troops at Mr. Trump's request. Lujan Grisham said Sunday she ordered the pullback because there isn't a "real emergency" at the border, and the troops "need to be available when there is a serious issue or an emergency to deal with."

Lujan Grisham said New Mexico stands to lose $150 million "by virtue of his national declaration for an emergency that doesn't exist," adding that the order "doesn't make any sense, and it's completely inappropriate." 

Inslee also said he is close to making a decision about launching a bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, hinting that an announcement could come as soon as this week.