Senate Votes to Block President Trump’s Emergency Declaration

The Senate on Thursday voted to block President Trump’s national emergency declaration, with 12 Republicans joining forces with Democrats in voting for the disapproval resolution.

The final vote was 59-41, with the resolution now heading to the president’s desk. Trump has said he would veto, setting up the first veto of his presidency. However, neither the House or the Senate has two-thirds of the vote in both chambers to override the president’s veto.

Trump originally issued the emergency declaration last month after Congress granted only a fraction of the $5.7 billion he requested for a wall on the southern border. Declaring a national emergency allows Trump to steer an extra $3.6 billion to the wall.

Last month, the House passed the measure with the vote of 245-182.

Trump, on Twitter made an 11th hour plea Tuesday morning to Republican senators who announced they would back the Democratic resolution, stating his national emergency is a “vote for Nancy Pelosi, crime, and the open border democrats!” He also added that “prominent legal scholars” says his national emergency are both “CONSTITUTIONAL AND EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress.”

Before the vote, Trump told reporters he expected the national emergency would be blocked, but he will veto it and “it’s not going to be overturned.”

“I’ll probably have to veto and it’s not going to be overturned,” Trump said. “The legal scholars all say it’s totally constitutional. It’s really a border security vote. It’s pure and simple. It’s a vote for border security. It’s a vote for no crime.”

Over a dozen Republicans Senators expressed constitutional concerns prior to the vote over Trump invoking emergency powers for additional funds for the border wall, despite agreeing with the president that border security is a legitimate concerns. The 12 GOP that voted with the Democrats for the resolution to block Trump’s national emergency were:

  • Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
  • Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah
  • Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah
  • Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.
  • Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
  • Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
  • Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
  • Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

On Tuesday, Sen. Lee introduced a bill that would automatically end future emergency declarations after 30 days. Had Trump endorsed the bill, Lee said he would urge Republicans to vote against the disapproval resolution. But, Trump opposed such legislation.

Possible opponents of Trump’s national emergency, such as Sen. Marco Rubio expressed reservations about Trump’s use of an emergency declaration, despite agreeing with Trump that there is “a crisis at our southern border.”

“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution,” the state’s senior senator said last month. “A future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal.”

Sen. Thom Tillis, announced shortly after Trump issued the Emergency Declaration last month that he would vote to block it. However, he reversed course on the Senate floor, saying that he was “sympathetic” to Trump’s push to deal with the crisis at the border.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his caucus to support Trump, arguing that there was a “border security and humanitarian crisis on the southern border.”

“It’s no secret I take the Senate as an institution extremely seriously. I take the separation of powers extremely seriously. And I take Congress’s prerogative over appropriations extremely seriously. But — as I argued yesterday in the context of the Yemen resolution — the Senate should not be in the business of misusing specific resolutions to express opinions on more general matters,” McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, before the vote, cheered the Republicans who were going to vote with the Democrats, while accusing Trump of “going around Congress” with the declaration.

“This is a momentous day,” he said, declaring that the balance of power was shifting back toward Congress.

Trump, shortly after the vote responded with a one-word tweet in capital letters: “VETO!” Followed by a detailed tweet that he looking forward to “VETOING.”

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Senate Votes to Block President Trump’s Emergency Declaration

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