Gard­ner votes to sup­port Trump

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Justin Wingerter

Af­ter a month of indecision, U.S. Sen. Cory Gard­ner voted against a res­o­lu­tion Thurs­day that would block Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s dec­la­ra­tion of a na­tional emer­gency along the south­ern bor­der.

“There is a cri­sis at the bor­der, and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have pre­vented a so­lu­tion,” Gard­ner said in a state­ment, re­fer­ring to Demo­cratic lead­ers in the House and Se­nate.

Colorado’s other sen­a­tor, Demo­crat Michael Ben­net, voted for the res­o­lu­tion to block Trump’s or­der, which passed 59-41. A dozen Repub­li­cans joined Se­nate Democrats in re­buff­ing the pres­i­dent, af­ter the House’s pas­sage of the res­o­lu­tion last month. Trump im­me­di­ately tweeted his in­ten­tion to veto it.

Gard­ner said Trump “clearly” had le­gal au­thor­ity to de­clare a na­tional emer­gency and was right to do so as Bor­der Pa-

trol ap­pre­hen­sions and metham­phetamine seizures in­crease along the south­ern bor­der.

“It should never have come to this, but in the ab­sence of con­gres­sional ac­tion, the pres­i­dent did what Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer re­fused to do,” Gard­ner said.

The Repub­li­can sen­a­tor from Yuma had been leery of Trump’s emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion, say­ing Feb. 14 that Congress, not the pres­i­dent, is best si­t­u­ated to fund bor­der se­cu­rity. It was Congress’ re­jec­tion of Trump’s re­quested $5.7 bil­lion in fund­ing that prompted the pres­i­dent’s dec­la­ra­tion.

But Gard­ner said lit­tle about the emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion or the dis­ap­proval res­o­lu­tion for a month be­fore the vote.

Ben­net, who is con­sid­er­ing a run for pres­i­dent, has been an out­spo­ken critic of the emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion. He took to the Se­nate floor Thurs­day to re­it­er­ate his po­si­tion.

“Never has a pres­i­dent sought to en­act a na­tional emer­gency like this af­ter Congress said no. Congress has the power of the purse in our Con­sti­tu­tion. Ev­ery sin­gle sen­a­tor should be vot­ing to pro­tect that,” Ben­net said in a loud speech be­fore the vote.

Gard­ner is ex­pected to face a tough re­elec­tion fight next year, and his op­po­nents had seized on his un­cer­tainty. Mike John­ston, a Demo­cratic chal­lenger, said last week that Gard­ner “had a chance to be a leader and speak out” but “in­stead re­mained si­lent.” An­other Demo­cratic chal­lenger, Trish Zornio, has called the na­tional emer­gency phony and dan­ger­ous.

“It shouldn’t be this hard to make Cory Gard­ner do the right thing,” Zornio wrote in a fundrais­ing email to her sup­port­ers an hour be­fore the vote.

A na­tional Quin­nip­iac Univer­sity poll re­leased March 6 found that 66 per­cent of vot­ers dis­ap­proved of Trump’s use of emer­gency pow­ers to fund a bor­der wall. Colorado, rep­re­sented by Demo­cratic At­tor­ney Gen­eral Phil Weiser, is one of 20 states su­ing Trump in an at­tempt to stop the pres­i­dent’s move.

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