'Everyone knows a wall will help': House Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan

Martha Raddatz interviews Rep. Jim Jordan, co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, about the president's national emergency declaration.
7:05 | 02/17/19

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Transcript for 'Everyone knows a wall will help': House Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan
My major concern is for the president to unilaterally repurpose billions of dollars that have been designated for specific projects undermines the appropriations process and really is a dubious constitutionality. Senator Susan Collins there expressing her concerns about the president's emergency declaration. One of several GOP senators to do so. Joining me now is congressman Jim Jordan from Ohio. He's the top Republican on the house oversight committee. Good morning, congressman. You heard senator Collins there, and many members of your party are uneasy about the president's declaration. Senator Marco Rubio said no crisis justifies violating the constitution. Here's what senator Tillis wrote. It doesn't matter who the president is or what party they belong to. I strongly believe in the separation of powers and curbing the kind of executive overreach that congress has allowed to fester for the better part of the last century. Isn't that the sort of principle on limiting executive power that the freedom caucus, which you founded, should stand for? Martha, this is an emergency. What are we on now? The fifth caravan? We ask those senators how many caravans do we need? Six or seven or the one that never stops? One we had just a few weeks ago, a drug bust that was enough fentanyl to kill 57 million Americans. What do we need? 59 million? I think it's an emergency. What I also think is interesting is those Republicans who are criticizing the president for wanting to do this executive order are the same kind of Republicans who just a year ago didn't want us to debate and push for the wall funding when we had the majority in both the house and the senate. Back after chuck Schumer had shut down the government because he said amnesty was more important than funding the government and we had the big ominous spending bill. That's when we should have done this, and I think that's kind of interesting. Those same Republicans who were against fighting for it back then are the ones who are criticizing the president now for his executive order. Congressman, can you give me an example where a president asked for something congress rejected and the president went ahead and said he would do it anyway? I don't know of that, but I do know that this wasn't a rejection because there was some money for the wall in this bill. So congress said, it's okay for some, but the president said, this is such a grave problem, I need more money to build more wall and to fulfill the campaign promise that I told the American people I was going to do. Which is what congress -- which congress specifically rejected more money. Congress didn't -- they rejected more money, but they gave some for it. There was money that he can use that doesn't require an executive order. He's going to use that and do the emergency declaration. It will go to court, Martha, and we'll see what the court says. All I know is this is a serious situation. This is a crisis. Look at the drug problem, the human trafficking problem, the gang violence problem. That's why we need the border security wall and that's why the president is making sure happens. You say this is an emergency. The president says this is an emergency, but a legal border crossings as we have said are near a 40-year low. The Dea recently said the majority of heroin from across the southern border comes from legal ports of entry. As did the fentanyl bust you just talked about. That was in Arizona. Come on. Come on. So you don't think drugs are coming across where there aren't border patrol agents? They're only getting them through where there are agents to stop it? That defies common sense. I am reading government statistics here, congressman. Don't these figures undermine the claim that this is an emergency? There is no doubt drugs are coming over. There is no doubt illegals are coming over, but you just heard that the majority -- Everyon-- The low of 40 years. Everyone knows a wall will help. In fact, Democrats knew it and Democrats were for it. Then senator Clinton said, we need a border security wall, and then senator Obama said we need money for a barrier on our border. What's amazing to me now and what I think is dangerous is the positions of the left are now taking. They said abolish I.C.E. And Nancy Pelosi said walls are immoral. You had secretary Clinton say we need a borderless hemisphere, and the person that the Democrats had do the state of the union response, Stacey Abrams just four weeks ago said noncitizens should be able to vote. Those are the positions that scare me, but what's common sense is build a security wall and help us deal with this drug problem, this gang violence problem, and this human trafficking problem. That is just good common sense and we know it will help. That's why the president is for it and that's why I'm for it. And congressman, if this is an actual emergency, isn't building a few hundred miles of border wall a pretty slow process? This has to go through the courts. This could take many, many years. Aren't there other ways to address the emergency? We tried the other way and the Democrats won't go there because they have taken the most radical positions in history. We tried to do it with appropriations process way, and get building it. We tried to do this lastyear, and our party leaders wouldn't even go there. Yeah, this is going to be a slow process and go to the courts. We understand that. But better to start that process so that we can ultimately get there, than to not start it at all. We don't know yet where the money is going to come from, what military construction projects, but let me list a few in Ohio. $61 million for an intelligence production complex. An automated gun range for $7.4 million, an air guard fire station for $13 million. So which of those military projects do you believe are worthy of cutting? It's not my decision. It's going to be a decision by those people in the military and the administration and the president of the United States. What I do know is what I have said. This is an emergency. This is a crisis. You tell me. How many -- I would ask the Democrats, how many caravans do we have to have before it's an emergency? If five is enough, tell me the number. Six? Seven? Tell me. What kind of drug bust do we have to have? We have already got one that would kill 57 million Americans. You can add, like, six, seven states together in the upper midwest and you don't even get to that number. You tell me how bad it has to get. I think that's pretty bad. Talk about the families. The angel families who have lost loved ones and took the life of their family members. I think that's pretty darn bad and what warrants the action the president is taking. It's going to go to court. We're going to find out. There's going to be resolutions in both the house and senate to disapprove of what the president is doing. I think they will pass, but when the president will veto him, I don't think there is any ce that the veto will be overridden. There are plenty of votes in the house to make sure there is no override of the president's veto. It's going to be settled in court. We'll have to wait and see. Thanks very much for joining us this morning, congressman. You bet.

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

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