U.S. Rep. John Shimkus sees the southern border crisis as an emergency that needs to be quickly addressed.
Shimkus, R-Collinsville, laid out his case — largely reflecting the president’s view — in a letter to constituents this weekend.
“Last week an agreement was reached between President Trump and congressional leaders to fund the government through September and increase border security. It wasn’t everything anybody wanted, but the reality is it was likely the best deal possible in that process. Nobody comes out a decisive winner in a government shutdown fight.
“In the end, instead of the $1 Speaker Pelosi offered President Trump for the wall, Congress was able to earmark $3.375 billion for 55 miles of new physical barriers where the border patrol says they need it most. That’s twice as many miles of new wall than were built last year.
“Due to the seriousness of the crisis at the border, the president last week also declared the 59th “national emergency” since 1976. Such declarations enable presidents to use certain extraordinary powers granted to them by Congress — in this case the authority to redirect already appropriated funds.
“I talked with a friend at the border last week and I believe the situation there is a national emergency. The human smuggling that is going on, and the drugs that are coming across, especially the Fentanyl, is real, it’s serious, and it’s dangerous.
That’s why this week I also asked that my name be added to H.R. 714, a House companion to Senator Cruz’s EL CHAPO Act. The bill would reserve funds forfeited to the United States Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera (commonly known as “El Chapo”), for security measures along the Southern border — including the completion of a border wall.”
Shimkus encouraged constitutents to share their thoughts with him via Facebook or in an email.
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