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Amash talks spending, border wall at Grand Rapids town hall

Posted at 11:18 PM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-18 23:18:58-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — U.S. Rep. Justin Amash held a town hall meeting Monday evening at Innovation High School in Grand Rapids.

He spoke on numerous issues, including bills he has recently introduced regarding eminent domain and the two-party system. 

The Grand Rapids Republican also addressed his opposition to President Donald Trump's request to declare an emergency in order to fund security at the border, explaining it has nothing to do with security, but principle.

Amash also said he would potentially be in favor of additional security at the U.S.-Mexico border. He just isn't OK with the executive branch being allowed to dictate how Congress spends money, adding that typically these types of emergency declarations are done in times where there isn't time for Congress to deliberate.

“The whole idea of having an emergency doesn’t make sense because Congress can handle this issue. It’s a legislative issue,” Amash said.

Because construction at the border could take years, Amash says Congress should be able to make fiscal decisions regarding the border. Amash also adds he feels the larger conversation should be about spending in general.

“I do think you fight hard on the overall spending number, and that’s worth a big fight,” Amash said.

Adding that the portion of the budget that funds a border wall is small in comparison, and his biggest concern is what he feels is the federal government's overspending.

“The overall funding is a disaster, and continues to be a disaster,” Amash said.

Amash says the overall amount of money the federal government is spending concerns him, and feels that is being left out of the conversation as people continue to discuss funding of the border wall.

Adding, again, that funding determination is up to Congress, not the president.

“This was clearly something that was intended to be a legislative power, the idea of appropriating money, and not something that is to be provided to the executive branch,” Amash said.

The crowd got to ask Amash plenty of questions, from everything regarding gun control to vaccinations.

Another town hall is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Pennfield High School auditorium.