Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks—a man who once publicly said “people who live good lives” shouldn’t have to pay into insurance pools that include people with diseases like cancer, only to be diagnosed with cancer himself six months later—that Mo Brooks is at it again.
In a downright combative appearance on CNN, Brooks ran through a number of talking points that were straight from Stephen Miller’s desk in the White House. He claimed, incredibly, that 15,000 Americans per year were killed from the lack of a wall on the southern border, despite more than 700 miles of fencing already in place.
CNN host John Berman had remained calm and stuck to the facts, reminding Brooks of his own prior statements about executive power, something he was vehemently against when Barack Obama was president. And that’s when Brooks lost it, screaming about 15,000 Americans per year dying because of a lack of border security and how it constituted a national emergency. He even played a Trump card, going into bully mode and accusing the host and network of being biased.
If this is such a national emergency now, why have a Republican-controlled House, Senate, and White House done nothing about it over the last two years? And if 15,000 deaths per year is enough to take this drastic step toward authoritarian rule, what does he say about the 40,000 Americans who die every year due to gun violence? Why isn’t that a national emergency? It should be.
Watch the brief clip and then jump below to see how other Republicans are starting to freak out about the idea that this declaration of a national emergency could give the next president, almost assuredly a Democrat, new power to deal with actual, real national and world emergencies, like climate change and gun violence.
CNN: Congressman, why do you think Trump has authority to declare an emergency?@RepMoBrooks: Because US code says so@JohnBerman: But in 15 you signed amicus brief objecting to Obama using executive orders. Why the different standards?
BROOKS: Circumstances are different now! pic.twitter.com/At6wTDSm9O
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 11, 2019
Republicans such as Brooks and Lindsey Graham are loudly pushing for Donald Trump to declare an emergency and begin extending the border wall that nobody along the border appears to want at all.
Mr. President, the Democrats are not working in good faith with you.
Declare emergency, build the wall now.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 11, 2019
I’d love for someone, anyone, to show one example of Lindsey Graham acting in good faith with the Democrats on any issue in the last 10 years to advance progress in this country. While you wait for hell to freeze over on that front, here’s what an increasing number of Graham’s Republican colleagues are saying about the idea of extending Trump’s executive power to build his vanity wall: in short, be careful what you wish for. Trump’s precedent could unlock new powers for the next president. A smattering of Republican responses:
Grassley on whether Trump should declare a national emergency via @mkraju : “I think the president should not do it. I think as a member of congress I ought to be very selfish about the constitutional powers that we have to appropriate money. I think it might be a bad precedent.”
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) January 11, 2019
— HotAir.com (@hotairblog) January 10, 2019
When the next Democratic President declares a national emergency over gun violence and takes executive actions to curtail gun purchases, you can thank the people urging Donald Trump to do the same with regards to the border.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 11, 2019
Of course, the dumbest take, per usual, belongs to none other than Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Rep. Matt Gaetz has some reservations: "I don’t want the next national emergency to be that some Democrat president says we have to build transgender bathrooms in every elementary school in America" https://t.co/PTjOWeRtwd
— Daniel Nasaw (@danielnasaw) January 11, 2019
Will Donald Trump give future presidents the unilateral authority to deal with actual crises such as climate change, gun violence, health care, student loans, and more?