Trump likely to veto the resolution
Following Senator Rand Paul’s announcements over the weekend that he intended to support a resolution to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on Monday, March 4 confirmed that there were enough votes in the Senate for the resolution to pass.
If the resolution were to pass, Trump would be forced to veto the resolution that would otherwise prevent him from accessing approximately $8 billion for border wall construction.
“I think what is clear in the Senate is there will be enough votes to pass the resolution of disapproval which will then be vetoed by the president and then all likelihood the veto will 6be upheld in the House,” McConnell said at a Monday press conference in Washington, D.C.
Adding that it was unclear whether the resolution could be amended by the Senate given that it has “never been done before,” McConnell said he tried to dissuade Trump from making the declaration for reason that doing so would set up precedent for Democratic presidents to make their own declarations in the future.
“That’s one reason I argued without success that he not take this route,” said McConnell.
“I was one of those hoping the president would not take the national emergency route,” he added. “Once he decided to do that I said I would support it, but I was hoping he wouldn’t take that particular path.”
Under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which gives Congress the authority to end a national emergency declared by the president, McConnell is required by law to bring the resolution up for a vote.
The resolution already passed in the House last week through a 245-182 vote, with thirteen Republicans voting in favor of the resolution. The Senate is slated to cast their votes by March 15.
In an op-ed published by Fox News on Sunday, Maarch 3, Senator Paul announced his intention to vote in favor of the resolution, becoming the fourth Senate Republican to do so following Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
“I support President Trump,” wrote Paul. “I support his fight to get funding for the wall from Republicans and Democrats alike, and I share his view that we need more and better border security.”
“However, I cannot support the use of emergency powers to get more funding, so I will be voting to disapprove of his declaration when it comes before the Senate,” said Paul.
He continued, “I would literally lose my political soul if I decided to treat President Trump different than President Obama.”
In the op-ed, Paul cited the fact that Congress already refused to give Trump his requested amount of $5.7 billion when it approved a spending bill of $1.375 billion for border security funding.
“Congress clearly expressed its will not to spend more than $1.3 billion and to restrict how much of that money could go to barriers. Therefore, President Trump’s emergency order is clearly in opposition to the will of Congress,” said Paul.
“Moreover, the broad principle of separation of powers in the Constitution delegates the power of the purse to Congress. This turns that principle on its head,” said Paul.
But even if the resolution were to pass in the Senate, Trump is expected to veto it, and it’s unlikely that a two-third majority in Congress will be able to ban together to override Trump’s veto.
In response to the likeliness that Trump will use his veto power, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that Democrats would continue to fight it.
“We’ll fight him in the Congress, we’ll fight him in the courts and we’ll fight him in the court of public opinion,” said Pelosi while at an event in Texas. “What he’s doing is wrong and the Republicans know it.
Pelosi said that Trump, in declaring a national emergency in order to get border wall funding, was “asking us to ignore the oath of office that we take to protect and defend the Constitution by this declaration.”
The declaration, she added, was “undermining our system of checks and balances,” which she said were the “wisdom of our Constitution.” (Rae Ann Varona/AJPress)