Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) is once again out in front to oppose President Trump’s agenda. After voting against Kate’s Law as well as a bill to punish sanctuary cities early in Trump’s presidency, Amash is now the lone Republican signing onto a resolution against Trump’s declaration of emergency measures at the border.
Amash claims to oppose the President on this and most other issues due to his fidelity to free market principles. He revealed his supposed rationale in a lengthy Twitter thread.
“Congress cannot turn the executive branch into the legislative branch. Such an effort fails for lack of conformity to our Constitution. The validity of an emergency declaration is limited by the definition of ’emergency’ itself and cannot be expanded by statutory openness,” Rep. Amash said.
“Can Congress make a law permitting the president to conduct the entire appropriations process by his declaring an emergency? Of course not. That would impermissibly grant him legislative powers. The same principle applies when addressing a portion of the appropriations process,” he added.
Although Amash claims to doggedly oppose Trump due to his constitutional bonafides, he was conspicuously silent during the ten occasions in which President Barack Hussein Obama declared emergency measures while Amash served in the U.S. House.
The Brennan Center of Justice has compiled a list of 59 separate national emergencies that were declared by different presidents from 1978-2018. Obama declared national emergencies in many dubious instances such as to facilitate illicit foreign interventions in Libya and Ukraine – two measures that should be particularly important for a liberty-minded Republican to oppose. Amash was quiet about these declarations made by Obama when his opposition wouldn’t earn him mainstream media praise.
Amash’s gadfly status and willingness to work against Republicans such as President Trump has earned him a great deal of praise from the liberal media. Michelle Richardson, who works as legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, refers to Amash as “a game-changer.” After using his connections to the establishment DeVos family that rules the roost in West Michigan to get into the state legislature, he capitalized on the Ron Paul revolution to become a national legislator inheriting much of the former Texas Congressman’s cult following. In the age of Trump, Amash has re-invented himself into the Jeff Flake of the House who is even open to Democrat-led efforts of impeachment.
Amash also received liberal acclaim when he helped vote down an amendment in 2017 stating that “[f]unds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to provide medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care.” In this instance, Amash showed that he will abandon his free market principles when it comes time to virtue-signal for leftists.
“Those who serve in our Armed Forces deserve the best medical care. One question we must ask and answer, with the aid of the medical community, is which treatments are medically necessary and which are simply elective. With respect to transgender persons, we should focus on the best science, not the political or philosophical opinions of partisans,” Amash said at the time.
Much of Amash’s following, in his home state of Michigan or elsewhere, is quickly waning as more Republicans are demanding a primary challenger against him in 2020. While other liberty-minded legislators like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) have adapted with the tumultuous political climate, Amash has failed to do so and his once promising career may come to an abrupt end as a result. Former Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Dave Brat (R-VA) lost their House seats in 2018 after refusing to embrace President Trump, and Amash may be the next to join them on the unemployment line if he doesn’t shape up fast.
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