Senate GOP effort on Trump border wall seems to fall short

Minnie Murray
March 14, 2019

Voting yes on the resolution, which passed the House in late February, would reaffirm their rhetorical commitment to containing executive overreach and check a naked power grab by the president.

The Trump campaign quickly spoke out on Pelosi's comments and argued that Democrats running for office should be asked if they think the president should be impeached.

Fortunately, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) may have given these lawmakers an out. Presidents have never before declared an emergency after Congress voted to deny them money for the same goal. "While there was attention on the issue I had hoped the ARTICLE ONE Act could begin to take that power back".

Whatever the intentions of the legislation, however, its introduction now could well enable the president's use of emergency powers in the short term.

Another source present said many Republicans thought that Trump had been leaning toward taking the deal but that he told Lee Wednesday afternoon that Trump said he'd decided he wouldn't be able to support the bill. Congress has never before voted to overturn a president's emergency declaration. That raised the possibility that GOP senators could limit defections enough to keep the disapproval resolution from passing.

"Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country" she said. Joe Kennedy (R-La.) told the Times.

The White House has been trying to avert defeat.

In addition to possibly preserving Trump's current wall-funding emergency declaration, it's also questionable how much Lee's legislation would limit the future ability of any president to declare national emergencies.


A vote on Lee's plan was expected after Congress returns from a recess later this month.

In an attempt to stave off Senate passage - an embarrassing prospect for Trump - Republican senators have been pushing an alternative measure that would instead address concerns that Trump's powers under the National Emergencies Act are too broad. "And next time and next time and next time, they'll say the same thing".

Nevertheless, Healy says that Lee's bill is a good first step toward reigning in presidential emergency declarations.

"We polled this district, 93 percent of the Democrats in this district think Mr. Trump is not fit to be president". Healy also praised the bill's requirement that Congress approve an emergency for it to continue.

Although four Republican senators have already announced they will vote to nullify the president's emergency declaration, one of them - Sen.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is a vocal critic of the president, and she told reporters on Monday that legally, impeachment "can ever be 100 percent off the table". There are now 31 active national emergencies, some of which date back to the Carter Administration.

The Senate's 47-member Democratic caucus is unified in support of the disapproval resolution, so just four Republican defections would give the measure the majority needed to pass. But it could force Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency - and could mark a rare occasion where a significant number of Senate Republicans are willing to go on record to vote against Trump.

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