Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., is indicating at least some disapproval with President Donald Trump’s declaration of a state of emergency to build a border wall.
The Gazette emailed a question about the first-term Republican’s stance Friday before Trump made his declaration formal.
Steil spokeswoman Sally Fox replied: “Bryan is frustrated that we’ve gotten to this point. Congress must work together to address our border security needs. For years, the executive branch has extended its authority.
“Bryan still believes Congress is best suited to make spending decisions and is concerned about the long-term implications,” Fox continued. “Bryan is working with his colleagues to address our border security needs and is working to prevent this from happening again.”
The Gazette sought to clarify Steil’s stance. Fox had not responded by Friday evening.
Neighboring representative Mark Pocan, D-Wis., issued a statement Thursday night opposing the president’s impending declaration.
“A national emergency needs to be a true emergency. A national emergency should be used to address the gun epidemic in this country or climate change,” Pocan said in his statement. “A national emergency should not be used for a campaign promise the president has failed to live up to.
“I strongly disagree with the president’s intention to declare a national emergency due to the lack of funding he’s received for his pointless border wall,” Pocan continued. “My guess is that there will be a legal challenge and an injunction to stop the president’s unprecedented move, and he will fail again.”
Steil was among the 65 percent of House Republicans who joined Democrats in approving a compromise government-funding bill Thursday.
Steil issued a statement on that vote Thursday night, saying: “This legislation is far from perfect. However, passing this bill was necessary to keep the government open, and it did provide some of the critical funding to secure our border.
“My first day on the job in Washington was during a government shutdown,” Steil continued. “We should never have been put in this position in the first place. We must do better. Let’s get to work, end the habit of passing spending bills the day before funding lapses and find ways to fully address our border security needs.”
The bill, which keeps the government running through the end of the year, includes $1.4 billion for border fencing, far short of Trump’s request for $5.7 billion.Trump on Friday afternoon declared the national emergency and said he would spend $8 billion on border barriers, combining the money from Congress and re-purposed money intended for military construction and anti-drug efforts.