Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., compared the security situation on the southern border to 9/11 in an interview Wednesday, calling it an unprecedented threat despite a significant drop in illegal border crossings in the past decade.
Perdue told Bloomberg TV that President Donald Trump would be justified in declaring a national emergency at the border, thus giving himself power to build the border wall he is demanding from Congress.
“This is a new day,” Perdue said. “Prior to 9/11, we never lost 3,000 people due to an attack from the outside either after World War II. What we’ve seen here is, this is a new day and a new issue, and the president is trying to deal with something that Congress will not give him a solution for.”However, according to a report Trump’s own State Department released in September, there was “no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have established based in Mexico, worked with Mexican drug cartels, or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States.”
Perdue, a first-term senator, will be on the ballot alongside Trump in 2020 and has voted with the president more than 95 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush declared a national emergency, which is still in effect, to give himself more direct control of the military.
Trump is demanding $5.7 billion from Congress to construct a 1,000-mile on the U.S.-Mexico border, despite promising as a candidate and after taking office that the Mexican government would fund it.
Trump said Wednesday he would consider declaring a national emergency to give himself the power to use military funds to build the wall if he could not strike a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
“Well, I may do that at some point,” he told reporters when asked if he was considering an emergency declaration. “ If Chuck and Nancy — who I’m meeting with, I believe in a little while — if they don’t agree to the fact that our country has really got problems with crime, with drugs, with a lot of other things that come through our southern border — so much of it comes through the southern border.”
After Trump’s meeting with the Democratic leaders, he tweeted that it was a “total waste of time,” though he did not specify whether he would declare a state of emergency.