Senate Looks Poised To Reject Trump's Emergency Declaration

Arturo Kim
March 14, 2019

It also left Republican senators facing a painful choice: defy a president who commands passionate loyalty from conservative voters or acquiesce to what many lawmakers from both parties consider a dubious and unsafe expansion of presidential authority.

The Senate is require to vote on the resolution by Friday.

Republican Senator Mike Lee, who had been shopping a second bill that would keep the emergency declaration in effect temporarily, said on Wednesday the White House had said Trump would not support his proposal, so he would be voting on Thursday to end the emergency declaration.

The White House and GOP senators are working on a compromise that would limit the power of presidents to declare national emergencies on their own.

"It was called turn out the lights, the party's over", said Sen.

In a statement issued later, the Utah senator said, "Unfortunately, it appears the bill does not have an immediate path forward, so I will be voting to terminate the latest emergency declaration".

The two spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal private conversations.

The senator cautioned that Trump's position may still change - "It is only Wednesday, and it is the Trump administration".

"Lee said he talked to the president and the president's now not supportive of what he wants", said one GOP senator. The resolution now goes to the House, which approved a very similar measure earlier this year, to be passed again.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters that Republicans are "looking at ways to revisit the law" on emergency declarations, which was enacted in 1976.

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"It is about Border Security and the Wall [stopping Crime, Drugs, etc.], not Constitutionality and Precedent", the president recently wrote on Twitter.

Even so, there was little doubt among GOP senators that Thursday's vote would turn out badly for the party. "If you want to remove it has to pass Senate and I don't know if, at this point, there would be enough votes to allow that to happen", she said.

They come just months after the midterm elections shattered the President's reliably Republican-led Congress and ushered in a new Democratic majority in the House dead set on investigating every corner of the Trump administration.

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, a Springfield Democrat and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said Monday that he's still working with House counsel to prepare his request for President Donald Trump's tax returns - even as another Democratic chairman took the first step in launching an investigation into alleged obstruction of justice and other corruption at the White House.

Last month, Steyer threatened to go after Democrats who didn't support impeachment, pledging to use his resources to get them removed. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

The proposal would not affect the current emergency declaration at the border but would for future declarations, including those issued by Trump.

Tillis said Wednesday that his vote was "still a work in progress", citing continuing discussions.

Congress does not have the votes to override Trump's veto. Democrats noted that America's border deficiencies have been debated for decades, and in making the declaration, Trump himself said he "didn't have to do it".

The strongest chance of blocking Trump's border emergency is likely several lawsuits filed by Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and others.

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