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Trump Rebuffs Senate GOP's Attempt to Work Out Agreement with Emergency and Border Wall
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14 Mar 2019 03:39 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump (Image source: Public domain)

 

This is something both Donald Trump and Senate Republicans wanted to avoid. Nonetheless, they are not all in agreement with regard to the president's declared national emergency in order to complete his money grab for his elusive border wall. The GOP were trying to work out a deal with Trump to avoid having to vote against his wall, but he turned down the deal, leaving enough senators promising to vote for the resolution to cancel his emergency.

 

Shortly after Trump declared the emergency to give him money on top of the $1.375 Congress had agreed to give him, the House Democrats got together on a resolution to terminate the emergency. It passed the Democrat-controlled House easily. 

This moved it on to the Senate, where it has been discussed for the past few weeks. Trump is promising that if the Senate passes it, he will veto it, and the GOP-controlled Senate is hesitant to face that showdown. Nevertheless, there were already four GOP senators promising to vote along with the Democrats to pass the resolution. The other Senate Republicans wanted to avoid that.

 

The Republicans were trying to gather together and get the president to agree to legislation that would limit the power of presidents to declare emergencies AFTER this time. This allows Trump this emergency but blocks him and any future president, Democrat or Republican, from doing the same thing. 

However, that measure had to be approved by Trump as well as the House. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was quick to turn it down. Trump followed suit and called Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), one of the authors of the Republican measure, to let him know he was not interested.

 

With the president turning him down, this left Lee promising to vote for the resolution to cancel Trump's emergency, giving the resolution its fifth GOP vote.  

"Unfortunately, it appears the bill does not have an immediate path forward, so I will be voting to terminate the latest emergency declaration," he declared.

 

The rest of the GOP can either back Trump with this move that is seen as allowing presidents to override their power to control federal spending, or they can vote along with the Democrats and incur Trump's wrath, possibly damaging their party. 

"I think anybody going against border security, drug trafficking, human trafficking, that is a bad vote," Trump told reporters at the White House. He also defended his constitutional right to declare the emergency.

 

"I think it is bad for a Republican senator — I also think it is bad for a Democrat senator — to vote against border security and to vote against the wall," he added. "I think to vote that way is a very bad thing long into the future." 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has also promised to vote for the resolution of disapproval and agrees with Lee that Congress has allowed the executive branch too much power to not take a stance at this point. This is after the GOP habitually blamed former President Barack Obama of doing the same thing, so they are having a hard time allowing a Republican president to do the same.

 

Trump is still sure to veto it no matter what, but it doesn't appear that the two chambers will have the two-thirds majority they need to override his veto. Regardless, the measure passing both the House and the Senate could give the handful of lawsuits over the emergency declaration more power in court. 

All this was less than 24 hours after Trump was again rebuked by the Senate when they voted to end military assistance for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.

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