POLITICS

GOP Rep Warns Trump's Emergency 'Sets A Dangerous Precedent'

“We’re almost in uncharted territory," Rep. Will Hurd said.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) is sounding the alarm on President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, warning it could spell trouble down the line.

“My concern is our government wasn’t designed to operate by national emergency,” he said during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.

The congressman’s concern is that the move “sets a dangerous precedent” for future administrations.

“We’re almost in uncharted territory, because I think, based on my research, this is one of the first times there’s been a disagreement between the executive branch and Congress on what is indeed a national emergency,” Hurd said.

On Friday, Trump declared a national emergency in order to access billions in funding for the construction of his border wall, an amount that far surpasses the $1.375 billion Congress has agreed to allocate for the project.

Hurd also told “Face the Nation” that more than 1,000 Texas farmers are at risk of losing their land over the wall’s construction. The federal government will likely use the power of eminent domain to seize some private property along the border. That power lets the government go through the courts to purchase private property to use publicly.

Hurd said private landowners in his state will likely fight back against the Trump administration’s tactics.

“[Government officials] say, ‘Hey, we need this land. Here’s what we’re going to give you,’” Hurd said. “And they get to automatically take it. And then the rancher or the landowner has to go in and fight in court.”

Despite his concerns, Hurd would not directly state whether he would back a resolution to stop the president from making such a move.

“I would support something that reviews ... how you declare a national emergency,” he said. “I’m always open to making sure that Congress takes back some of its power as a coequal branch of government.”

Hurd is one of several Republican lawmakers to express concerns over Trump’s declaration, including Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.) John Cornyn (Texas), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Susan Collins (Maine).

This story has been updated to include Hurd’s comments on farmers losing their land.

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