McConnell confirms Senate has votes to disapprove of Trump's emergency declaration

Saul Bowman
March 5, 2019

The Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, could have provided the president with a narrow victory, but after members of the GOP's House coalition voted to affirmatively block the emergency declaration, prominent Republican senators, including Lamar Alexander (R-TN), said they were privately warning the president that the Senate could vote against his emergency declaration measure as well. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in opposing Trump's declaration - a reflection of some resistance within the Republican Party to what some lawmakers see as executive overreach and a challenge of the constitutional separation of powers.

"I can't vote to give extra-Constitutional powers to the president", said Paul. If all the Democrats and the independents oppose Trump as expected, he would lose the vote on the emergency.

President Donald Trump during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, on February 15, 2019.

McConnell, who has worked closely with Trump on the tax system overhaul, the selection of conservative judges and other issues, acknowledged he had counseled the president against making the declaration.

Trump has warned Senate Republicans not to vote for the resolution, saying that doing so would put them in "great jeopardy" politically with voters.

"I was one of those hoping the president would not take the national emergency route", Mr McConnell said, although he backed Mr Trump when he announced his plan. Of course, Collins is also up for reelection, but she may have more to fear from a potential Democratic opponent than from a primary challenge.

Paul's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

"I can't vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn't been appropriated by Congress, " Paul told guests at a GOP dinner at Western Kentucky University, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.

Trump declared a national emergency last month in a maneuver that would allow him to shift funds from the military construction budget to pay for a wall on the southern border, a signature issue of his presidential campaign. "If we take away those checks and balances, it's a risky thing", Paul added, according to the Bowling Green (Ky.) Daily News. The president is invoking other powers to transfer an additional $3.1bn to construction.

While they support border security, Republicans Sens.

Trump avoided the second shutdown by reluctantly signing a compromise deal while also declaring a state of emergency at the southern border.

Paul said he thinks Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will vote against Trump.

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