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Local representatives react to Trump’s national emergency declaration

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HARTFORD – As President Donald Trump signed the final paperwork to declare a national emergency to fund a border wall, people across Connecticut reacted to the news.

U.S. House Democrats could introduce a resolution to invalidate the national emergency and eventually vote on it. Local representatives said they plan to vote against it. Meantime, constituents are voicing their opinions.

“He’s just using his bully pulpit,” said Pamela Desaulnier of Eastford.

“There are a lot of other things we could be worried about right now,” said Andrew Reardon of Wethersfield.

“There are those situations where they actually have bad people that come through that border,” said Karrick Morgan of Ellington.

People are also writing on the Fox 61 Facebook page. One comment reads, “Protect our borders. Stop drugs and human trafficking.”

Trump argued he is declaring the national emergency to address “an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.” But Congressman Joe Courtney (D-2), said the president’s plan is counterintuitive.

“They’re using the Pentagon as a piggy bank, diverting money away from the work the Navy and National Guard does to assist the Coast Guard in terms of intercepting drugs coming into the country, which flatly contradicts the president’s policy objectives,” said Courtney.

Despite objections from Congress, White House officials plan to shift billions of dollars in military construction projects across the country, including in Groton, to build the wall.

“The drug flow that’s coming into this country, which the $2.2 billion is being diverted from, affects our state,” said Courtney. “We have been very hard hit by fentanyl.”

In his Friday morning announcement, Trump said he is already anticipating a legal challenge.

“There will be a vote in the House,” said Courtney. “It will be overturned.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) said the timing stands out as a red flag.

“Why now? It’s like calling 911 a year and a half after the fire,” said Blumenthal. “How can that be justified as an emergency?”

He calls the president’s actions illegal.

“There is no national emergency,” Blumenthal said.

Congressman Jim Himes said he thinks the president is simply trying to his campaign promise that he would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it.

“In this country, Congress decides where the money gets spent and Congress decided against that promise the president made in the election,” said Himes.

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