Rep. Amash: 'The president doesn't get to just declare an emergency'

The Michigan congressman said "there are a lot of fair arguments" for funding enhanced border fencing, but it "has to go through Congress."
4:48 | 02/26/19

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Transcript for Rep. Amash: 'The president doesn't get to just declare an emergency'
A lot of Republicans Quinn is you know concerned about constitutional. Issues with that the precedent it would set. Including some of those around a House of Representatives were joined now by one of those Republicans Justin a mosh. Republican of Michigan who joins us now congressman great to see you you've been. One of the co sponsors of this effort that's going to be on the floor later today to terminate the emergency declaration why aren't more conservative. Constitutional conservatives showing you and this is are you surprised you're sort of a single man around the world and us on the phone. I'm not totally surprise. Behind the scenes privately and many of them are very concerned about what the president is doing. And they understand our constitutional system and that they would I think they love the opportunity to oppose him they have that opportunity here. And I think they're not going to take a war political purposes. They're when they're worried about what might happen back home. When Republican voters and that's a shame because our. Our policies here should be based on. Partisan ways of thinking. I wanna dig drill down on out of it could you you're one of hundreds of Republicans. In the House of Representatives so that's a lot of Republicans that are or have some political concerns about blocking the president on this what makes your district. So different why are you able with your constituents who seek out this ground. And why aren't more people are more of your fellow Republicans able to follow you and say look you know I'm a Republican I'm a conservative but I can't for the constitution why does that argument. I'm not carries much weight. Been a very independent representative for many many years. My constituents know me well we understand where I'm coming from they understand it all vote on principle. And I think that gives B more room to do the right thing and a lot of other districts. The members of congress are very partisan on both left and right and then when you have a Republican or democratic president office. They don't want to challenge a president from their own party because it becomes very Dicey politically for them. If you've been tell your district tired and operate all these years and they know your independent I think it gives you a lot more room to do the right thing. MM what do you say congressman a mosh to these arguments from the administration. That there is a crisis at the border in fact. During the negotiations. The conference negotiations to avert shut down a couple weeks ago. A number of border protection officials DHS officials came to Capitol Hill they briefed Republicans and Democrats and they said look we're on the front lines. We need more steel slats we need to build a wall it would help us. Do you think that was disingenuous do you buy any of that case do you think it there's legitimacy there. I think there are a lot of their arguments being made for additional funding for additional fencing for enhanced fencing. But that bombing has to go through congress he president doesn't get to just declare an emergency. For something that congress has deliberated many times over the past several years. The president has signed legislation is that congress passed. They did not have the funny he wanted he didn't veto that legislation. You can't not veto the legislation and then say there's an emergency visit emergency should be counted in the first place so I think that we have to be really. I careful about proceeding here we have to make sure that. Each branch stays within its own lane and our congress retains its power over the. First if not you're also congressmen met a critic of the administration's policy on separating children. From their parents who have have crossed the southern border illegally it's been in the spotlight on the hill today a number of hearings. Also a committee that you are on the oversight house oversight committee today issued some first subpoenas. That Justice Department health and human services Homeland Security Department to try to get an accurate detailed accounting. Of where all those children wet conditions that they went through. Again you're only want to a couple of Republicans who have supported those subpoenas explain your rationale why are you behind. Subpoena in the administration on this issue. It was a reasonable request and in fact. Just last year Republicans were supporting the same request they sent a letter to. These departments asking for the same information so Republicans were okay where that last term. They should be okay within this term I'm not going to change my politics because Democrats are now in the majority. We are here with a before we should be okay with it now and I think it's apparently read. Request. All right cock congressman just in a mosh Republican message Michigan great to have you thanks so much. For joining us here in a briefing room and ABC news live really appreciate it sir thank you make you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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