Here's a sample of Capito’s statements (from her own press releases) on executive orders and presidential overreach during the Obama administration:
Gun laws in 2016:
Unfortunately, the president has decided to once again circumvent Congress and govern by executive overreach.
Obama signing the Paris Agreement in 2016:
I’m extremely disappointed that this agreement was signed, promising funding that cannot be delivered and threatening our affordable, reliable energy and jobs.
President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016:
“We've been heavily impacted by what I think is the president's end-around of congress. What this bill says is let's get some common sense,” Capito said.
Metro News quoting Capito in 2014 on Obama’s executive order shielding immigrants:
West Virginia Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito called Obama’s decision “unconstitutional and wrong.”
Despite all of the above, Capito was not among the 12 Republican senators who voted with Democrats yesterday to reject his executive action. Forget overreach, it’s now about giving the president tools. Here is her justification:
Congress gave the president the power to take such action in order to provide for our national security and keep Americans safe, so this isn’t about whether or not the president is acting within his rights or about the separation of powers. This vote was about whether or not we agree that there is a crisis at the southern border and whether or not we believe the president should have the tools to fix it. I, for one, support the president in his efforts to strengthen our border security and address the situation at the border, and I was proud to vote to uphold his emergency declaration.
But then there is this from the New York Times last month:
After threatening to kill the spending compromise needed to keep the government open, Mr. Trump opted to cite a national emergency to pry loose additional funding to build a wall longer than the 55 miles in the bipartisan agreement. It was the divisive step that . . . . Ms. Capito and most other Republicans in the Senate had forcefully urged him not to take, because it would establish a precedent they feared future Democratic presidents would use against them.
So Capito originally urged the president not to declare a national emergency but once he did, she "proudly" voted to sustain his actions.
This post was updated at 8:30 PM to correct an error on the purpose of yesterday's vote. As reader RG correctly points out:
"Trump has not vetoed the decision by the Congress to end the National Emergency declaration. Capito voted to sustain the president's decision to declare a national emergency. She will get her opportunity to vote against overriding the veto next week."