As reports emerge that Sen. Kamala Harris is considering a run for the presidency in 2020, a Fox News editor said the prospect of a Harris victory would prevent Republicans from backing President Donald Trump in declaring a national emergency to build the Mexico border wall he promised.
Politics editor Chris Stirewalt spoke out about the White House’s statement that Trump making the declaration, which would mean he’s making good on his campaign promise, is a real possibility.
“I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency. I haven’t done it yet. I may do it,” Trump told reporters at the White House Thursday as the government shutdown he declared over the wall’s building continues into its third week. “If this doesn’t work out, probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely.”
Stirewalt said that GOP members would not get behind that, however, because if Harris, a Democrat, becomes president, she could invoke the same precedent to curb gun violence in America.
“Lots of things are national emergencies,” Stirewalt explained on “America’s Newsroom” Jan. 10. “Highway fatalities are national emergencies. If you define it that way, if you define it [as] what’s killing people, what are our problems, what are the things that are breaking the heart of this great nation, there are lots of things that are emergencies.
“The Republicans will not let him declare a national emergency on this and violate the Article I powers of Congress,” he went on. “They’re not going to let him do it because they know that if his successor, if President Kamala Harris says, ‘You know what, we have a national emergency on gun crime in the United States so I am going to start abridging the Second Amendment because I think that this is a national emergency because I have deemed it so.’”
“So the reason the Republicans in Congress won’t let the president do that is that they know that one day there won’t be a Republican president,” Stirewalt wrapped up. “And when that happens, they don’t want that president to be able to willy-nilly declare national emergencies and exert broad executive authorities.”
The same day that Stirewalt offered this analysis, Republicans lawmakers proved it might be faulty. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina issued a statement Thursday calling for Trump declare an emergency, saying, “It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier. I hope it works.”
Although Stirewalt was employing the right’s familiar they’re-coming-for-your-guns theme, Harris does support gun control.
“Right now, what we need is we need to have common sense gun safety laws in our country,” she said in March at a Senate hearing on gun safety. “And frankly, to get to that place, I would suggest that — I do not think — I don’t know what we’re waiting for. We do not need any more tragedies. We’ve seen some of the most tragic incidents that one could imagine, and we do not need any new ideas.
“We got great ideas. What we need is we need the United States Congress to have the courage to act,” she added.
As for Trump’s proposed wall, which Democrats oppose, Trump is seeking $5.7 billion to begin construction along a barrier along the American southern border. Trump said repeatedly for years that Mexico would pay for the wall but now says the country will pay for it “indirectly” through a new trade deal that has yet to be ratified.