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The DC: 🚨 Is there a national emergency at the border? and... Should veterans have access to medicinal pot?

by Countable | 2.18.19

Welcome to Presidents' Day, once and future heads-of-state...

He's done it. But can he do it?

On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in order to access $3.6 in funds towards building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this," Trump said. "But I'd rather do it much faster."

Critics pounced on the president's remarks, pointing out that if Trump claims "I don't need to do this," and the wall could be built over a longer period of time, then it's actually not an emergency.

Attorney George Conway - a frequent critic of the president (who's married to Trump aide Kellyanne Conway) - tweeted: "This quote should be the first sentence of the first paragraph of every [lawsuit] filed."

What do you think? Do you support the declaration of an emergency on the southern border?

On the Radar

  • George Conway (see above) isn't the only pundit or politician responding to Trump's emergency declaration. On Thursday evening, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) acknowledged “a crisis at our southern border” but said that “no crisis justifies violating the Constitution.” In anticipation of the declaration, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) released a statement via twitter saying that “declaring a national emergency for this purpose would be a mistake.” But not every (R) is opposed to Trump’s flexing of national emergency power. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close ally of the president, tweeted that he “stand[s] firmly behind President Trump’s decision to use executive powers to build the wall-barriers we desperately need.” How do you feel about the national emergency declaration?

Under the Radar

  • Black mold, rats, faulty wiring, and asbestos are some of the many issues in private military housing, according to testimony and a survey conducted by the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN). More than half of survey respondents said they had a “negative” or “very negative” experience with privatized military housing. "We heard from multiple families that their concerns were downplayed," the MFAN report said. "Many were told that mold was dirt or that nothing could be done about visibly growing mold on windowsills, walls, and ceilings." One of the companies mentioned in the report, Corvias, told NPR that its staff are listening to aggrieved families. Does the military need to reconsider its use privatized housing?

  • A duo of Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation that would doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) “to discuss and potentially recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states that have established medical marijuana programs,” according a statement. The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act "ensures that doctors who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs can discuss and potentially recommend medical marijuana to their patients that are veterans in accordance with state law,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, who co-sponsored the bill. But regardless of whether the VA approves of or encourages veterans’ use of medical marijuana, there’s a need for VA health care providers to understand medical marijuana so they can advise patients on responsible use and risks. Should Veterans Have Access to Medical Marijuana Through the VA?

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in FL

  • TBA

The House of Representatives: Out

  • The House will return Monday, February 25th.

The Senate: Out

  • The Senate will return Monday, February 25th.

What You're Saying

Here are some of your thoughts on Prohibiting Federal Tax-Exempt Bonds From Being Used to Build Abortion Clinics

(Follow Bullmom's comment here.)

(Follow Elisabeth's comment here.)

But wait, there's more!

And, in the End…

Countable is usually devoted to news, but we sometimes feature "Perspectives" from across the political spectrum. Countable CEO Bart Myers, for instance, recently shared his perspective on taxing the rich...

Words matter. They matter now more than ever. Our politicians need to stop making promises they can’t keep or don’t even understand.

It drives me nuts when I read about politicians talking about a 70% (or even 90%) tax rate, telling us that raising the marginal federal tax rate would pay for everything they want to do, from "Medicare for All" to walls to green new deals.

It doesn’t work that way. 

The rich don’t pay taxes.

Not like you do.

Wondering how the rich are taxed? Wondering how to raise their taxes? Click here for the full Perspective.

Which is it? Presidents' Day, President's Day, Presidents Day, or Washington's Birthday?

—Josh Herman

Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

Countable

Written by Countable

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(129)
  • Rick
    02/18/2019
    ···

    There is NO national emergency at our southern border. This is a disgrace to our formerly great country. I am ashamed of our reps who won’t stand up to this president.

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  • Joseph
    02/18/2019
    ···

    We currently have three national emergencies. They are: Global warming Cyber security President Trump The security of our southern border is not a national emergency. Congress must act to overthrow Trump’s declaration now.

    Like (60)
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  • Saxon
    02/18/2019
    ···

    So, I guess poison water isn’t an emergency ? Wish we had our priorities straight... when will Flint get clean water ?While everyone bickers over a wall that people can just fly over, dig under and everyone acts like gangs aren’t MAKING and producing drugs here in America... Hell half the time it’s just an overdose on prescribed medicine. We have gang violence we have mobs we have HAD THESE PROBLEMS. Why people are so ignorant is beyond me. Americans are being poisoned by there very own water supply yet a national emergency was declared over this just WOW.

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  • Manita
    02/18/2019
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    The President’s actions to use a false national emergency to by pass the constitutional authority that congress has over spending he threatens the balance of powers and creates a true emergency. Congress must stop this illegal act and void this false emergency.

    Like (39)
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  • Robert
    02/18/2019
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    There is NOT an EMERGENCY😫

    Like (33)
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  • Penny
    02/18/2019
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    I fear for my country because the man occupying the president’s chair is a traitor to his own country and my Republican representatives continue looking the other way in order to maintain their political careers. Simply being concerned is tantamount to avoidance. I am concerned if I hear a knock in my engine, but must leap into action when the engine stops. It is time to take action to save our democracy.

    Like (31)
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  • Brian
    02/18/2019
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    Impeach trump

    Like (27)
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  • Dicr
    02/18/2019
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    The current president is compromised by our biggest threat to national security. Impeachment is the remedy!

    Like (27)
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  • John
    02/18/2019
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    Action must be taken, President Trump can’t be allowed to use executive power to declare an unconstitutional emergency.

    Like (20)
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  • Michael
    02/18/2019
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    Let’s be honest. The President made a ridiculous promise to get elected and now is trying to create an illusion of a crisis to force the American taxpayer to pay for it so he can stay in power. Does something need to be done? Yes, but listen to the Mayors, Border Patrol personal, and experts to find the right solutions. I never expect my President to be the smartest person but I do expect them to seek the advice of experts to make the best decisions for the country. I challenge you to think deeply if the President is making this decision for our good or his own? Be honest with yourselves.

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  • Nancy
    02/18/2019
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    Please Senators and Congress people, stop this emergency spending on this wall, stop Trump in his non reality.

    Like (18)
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  • Christina
    02/18/2019
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    There is no emergency at the border. This is a sham “fake news” story drummed up by Trump to assuage his base. Disgusting politics only.

    Like (16)
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  • TarheelMD
    02/18/2019
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    As a physician acutely aware of the drug epidemic and fully knowledgeable of the volume of these drugs pouring in through our southern border, I absolutely agree that this is a crisis. Politicians on BOTH sides have said as much over the past 10 years but have done NOTHING about it. I for one am sick of seeing our children overdose with these lethal synthetic drugs. I for one am sick of seeing children exploited and trafficked by criminals crossing our border. Having lived in 5 countries over my adult life, I accepted that I had to follow the laws of the countries to which I was not native. We are a laughing stock to those countries who know and exercise border security. Many of my friends are legal immigrants and my husband is the son of a legal Mexican immigrant... illegal immigration is invasion.

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  • Chris
    02/18/2019
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    No, there is no emergency at the border. Trump said so himself. “I didn’t need to do this.” Believe him.

    Like (11)
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  • Cathy
    02/18/2019
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    It’s time Congress took back their power and rein in our out of control President. While there is a need for immigration reform legislation and appropriate border security funding, the President’s declaration of a National Emergency on our southern border to build his campaign promised “wall” is ridiculous. He consistent

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  • DrCindyBean
    02/18/2019
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    There is no emergency. trump is a dangerous delusional demagogue fascist dictator wannabe.

    Like (9)
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  • Jessica
    02/18/2019
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    I expect my Colorado reps to stop this nonsense national “emergency”, designed by trump to scare and rile his base. To be clear, I think we all support border security, and want to stop human trafficking and drug flow. But an archaic cement wall to placate a tyrannical toddler is not the answer. Also, please speak out the demonization of immigrants who are fleeing for their lives. It’s dangerous and false to turn a human rights issue into nationalism and terror. I will be protesting at the capitol building today and hope you guys get the message.

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  • Kenneth
    02/18/2019
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    No to Border Emergency!

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  • Deborah
    02/18/2019
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    Every American should be alarmed at this overreach of power, not the least our Congress representatives. This is a constitutional crisis. Please act to protect our division of power.

    Like (8)
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  • Dave
    02/18/2019
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    National emergency, not the border wall; Healthcare Homeless Infrastructure Drugs Addiction Fires in California Puerto Rico Climate change Education - trade skills Technology Power grid Water and Food safety Asylum-seekers Low wages Low taxes on the rich and corporations International interference NRA ties to Russia Corporate influence and lobbyists Cyber security Southern states depending on federal Voter suppressant Trump administration

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