Walden Defends His Opposition to Trump’s Emergency Declaration

Patricia Maier of Hermiston confronts Congressman Greg Walden over his opposition to President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southern border during Walden's town hall meeting on Friday. (Photo by Michael Kane)

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden defended his opposition to President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to fund a border wall when confronted by an angry voter during his town hall meeting on Friday.

Walden spoke on several issues at the event held at the Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center, but things got a little heated when the subject the President’s border wall came up.

Patricia Maier of Hermiston accused Walden of siding with Democrats who she said, as a party, want open borders.

Earlier this year, the president declared a national emergency at the southern border. The declaration allows him to take executive action and fund the building of a wall along the border, the central issue of his campaign and presidency.

Both the House and Senate passed a nonbinding resolution opposing the emergency declaration. Walden was one of the House Republicans to vote in opposition to the declaration.

(READ: Walden Covers Variety of Issues at Hermiston Town Hall Meeting)

Walden said Congress controls the purse strings and he was not going to vote to erode the separation of powers. He also said such a declaration sets a bad precedent. There may be a time when a liberal president declares climate change or gun violence a national emergency.

Maier wasn’t having any of it.

“The media and the Democrats hate Trump and his family,” she said, before accusing Walden of being among a minority of Republicans who have “turned on Trump.”

Walden countered by saying in 2018, he supported Trump in every House floor vote.

“But there are times when I disagree with the President,” he said, citing as another example the policy of separating children from their migrant parents who attempt to cross the border illegally.

He also said he doesn’t like the fact that the Trump Administration won’t say exactly where they will get the $5.7 billion he wants for construction of the wall.

The White House is being sued by a number of states and organizations over the emergency declaration. Maier asked Walden if he would resign if the courts back Trump.

“Of course not,” he said. “I stand before the voters every two years.” Walden asked the audience to raise their hands if they support the emergency declaration and about a dozen or so hands went up. He then asked folks to raise their hands if they oppose the emergency declaration and about two dozen hands went up.

“There you go,” said Walden.

Maier said Republicans need to “protect” the president and support him 100 percent on the border wall issue, including the emergency declaration.

Walden said there is a limit to how far he will go to support Trump.

“When we break the line and a president of either party can spend money for any purpose he or she wants, that’s a problem,” Walden said. “The separation of powers means a lot – a lot more than any one issue.”


  1. Want to express importance of “separation of powers”. Oppose the President on removal of troops from the Middle East, “Term Limits”, lowering middle income tax brackets, or some of the tough talk on tariffs, but NOT national security and immigration enforcement. If illegal immigration is so unimportant, PLEASE explain to us why it’s not important.

  2. So I look up Tyrant in the dictionary and this is what it says. “A cruel and oppressive ruler” It also mentions
    “a ruller that imprisoned all who oppose his regime” I can’t say I agree with everything that comes out of his yap but a Tyrant. That’s laughable. I would say throwing such labels around does the country more bad than good, if you are the Steve Mills I think you are you should know better. Some weak minded people might just believe you.

  3. Personally I was not angry, (very disappointed) and if you quote the minutes you will find I stated “I am very frustrated”, and so as not to mince words, yes I am frustrated at Walden because we were at the earlier meeting in Boardman when he stated he was going to look at the legality of a national emergency. So now he voted his conscience? I see his statement as nothing more than talking out of both sides of his mouth. The issue they did not report on is that we in Eastern Oregon, Central and Southern really can’t or don’t out vote the socialists in the I-5 corridor, and Walden’s standing with the Democrats certainly doesn’t help us who are not socialists. Come on, if you believe his conscience states, then I have some ocean front property for sale in Kansas for very little $$.

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