Twelve Senate Republicans
joined their colleagues on the Democrat and Independent’s side to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration
which he issued in order to get more funding to build the border wall along the United States-Mexico border.
The 12 Senate Republicans
who joined the 45 Democrats and 2 Independents are Senators Lamar Alexander (TN), Roy Blunt (MO), Susan Collins (ME), Mike Lee (UT), Jerry Moran (KS), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rand Paul (KY), Rob Portman (OH), Mitt Romney (UT), Marco Rubio (FL), Pat Toomey (PA), and Roger Wicker (MS).
Prior to the vote, Senator Lee
attempted to work with Trump in getting a new bill passed into law that would limit the president’s power to declare a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act of 1976. Senator Lee’s bill, ARTICLE ONE Act,
would have kept Trump’s current national emergency declaration in place while limiting all future national emergency declarations to 30 days. After the 30-day period ended, the president would have to go to Congress in order to get an extension of his national emergency declaration.
Lee’s decision to vote in favor of the resolution is due to Trump not supporting Lee’s bill.
For decades, Congress has been giving far too much legislative power to the executive branch. While there was attention on the issue I had hoped the ARTICLE ONE ACT could begin to take that power back. Unfortunately, it appears the bill does not have an immediate path forward, so I will be voting to terminate the latest emergency declaration,” Lee
said in a statement.
Trump issued the national emergency declaration, on February 15, 2019, after signing a spending bill to keep the government open. The bill provided a little over $1 billion for Trump’s border wall.
There is no doubt that politics is playing a role in how Congress votes.
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), who’s up for re-election in 2020, had said he would support the resolution.
But at the last minute, he changed his mind after Republicans in North
Carolina made it clear that they would support a primary candidate over
Tillis if he voted in favor of the resolution which Donald Trump says "is a
vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats." Diane Parnell
, who is the chairwoman of the Rockingham County Republican Party, was quoted by The News & Observer as saying about Thom Tillis, “We’re not happy with the way Senator Tillis seems not to support the president.” Congressmen Mark Meadows and Mark Walker’s
names have been floated around as possible primary challengers. Meadows and Walker
, however, say they do not have any interest in moving from the House to the Senate.
Tillis brushed off the notion that a primary challenger is evidence that he will be banished to CNN, Fox News, and or MSNBC to work as a talking head.
“I’ve naturally assumed I was going to have a primary challenge. It usually happens nearly every election cycle in North Carolina,” Tillis
told The News & Observer.
Trump has promised to veto the resolution, which will be his first veto as president.
As it stands, Congress does not have the two-thirds votes needed in the House or the Senate in order to override Trump’s veto.
The House will need 289 votes, meaning 54 Republicans joining the 235 Democrats, in order to override a presidential veto.
In the Senate, 16 Republicans will have to join the 45 Democrats and 2 Independents, who often vote with the Democrats, in order to override a presidential veto.
Although the resolution received bi-partisan support in the House and the Senate, the support
in both chambers was not equal to or greater than the two-thirds votes needed in order to survive a presidential veto.