Retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) opposed President Donald Trump’s national emergency on Thursday, becoming the seventh Senate Republican to do so.
Sen. Alexander announced Thursday he will oppose the president’s national emergency to build a wall along the southern border, even though Congress has remained unable to appropriate any significant border wall funding.
The Tennessee Republican said on the Senate floor, “Never before has a president asked for funding, Congress has not provided it, and the president then has used the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to spend the money anyway.”
“This declaration is a dangerous precedent,” Alexander added.
The Senate will vote Thursday on a resolution that would nullify President Trump’s use of the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to reappropriate money to build a wall along the southern border.
Alexander, who announced last December he will not run for re-election in December, became the seventh GOP senator to oppose Trump’s border wall.
Sen. Mitt Romney also announced Thursday that he will oppose the national emergency, though he said his vote does not serve as a vote against border security.
Romney said in a statement on Thursday:
This is not a vote against border security. In fact, I agree that a physical barrier is urgently needed to help ease the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, and the administration already has $4.5 billion available existing authority to fund a barrier–even without an emergency declaration.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) also announced they will vote against the national emergency. These Senate Republicans’ support for the Democrat resolution means that the bill will pass through the Senate; however, it remains unlikely that enough Republicans will defect to give them sufficient votes to override a presidential veto.
In an interview with Breitbart News this week, President Trump said he found it “hard to believe” that any Republican would vote against his efforts to secure the border.