Auditor General Eugene DePasquale issued the following statement this week regarding President Trump’s possibly illegal declaration of a national emergency in order to fund a border wall:
“This action sets a horrible precedent and would allow any future president to unilaterally use the same powers to address any issue they perceive to be a problem, whether real or imagined.
“I will resist any effort by the president to take away one single penny of funding owed to Pennsylvania for such important purposes as road construction, health care and services to veterans. Part of my job is to make sure Pennsylvania appropriately spends the federal funding it receives. If Trump seizes this funding, it could potentially jeopardize federal funding for the state moving forward because we simply won’t know how to audit it.
“Trump seems unable to differentiate between a problem of his own making and an actual emergency, as evidenced by the fact that he couldn’t get Congress to fund his scheme when his own party was in the majority. If he wants the funding, he should do what presidents have historically done: negotiate with Congress. But perhaps he isn’t the great dealmaker he claims to be.
“I strongly believe that any federal funds designated for Pennsylvania should not be part of this potentially unconstitutional plan. As Pennsylvania’s chief fiscal watchdog, I will be watching closely and sound the alarm if state funding gets diverted by Trump’s boondoggle.”