Twelve Senate Republicans voted in favor of a Democrat resolution to end President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration.
The Senate passed a resolution on Thursday to end the president’s national emergency resolution. The bill passed through the Senate as well as the House; however, both times the resolution did not receive enough votes to override a presidential veto.
President Trump has already threatened to veto the legislation.
Although most Senate Republicans voted with the president and affirmed both his constitutional authority and his initiative to secure America’s southern border through a national emergency declaration, twelve Republicans decided to join Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to end the national emergency.
The twelve Senate Republicans who voted with Democrats to end the national emergency include:
- Rand Paul (R-KY)
- Mike Lee (R-UT)
- Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
- Mitt Romney (R-UT)
- Jerry Moran (R-KS)
- Pat Toomey (R-PA)
- Rob Portman (R-OH)
- Roger Wicker (R-MS)
- Marco Rubio (R-FL)
- Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Many of these Republicans have cited Congress’s authority under the Constitution as the only branch to appropriate money. However, Congress passed the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which allows the president to declare a national emergency and reappropriate money to further a national security interest, such as securing the southern border.
Sen. Paul said in a press release Thursday, “I stand with President Trump on the need for a border wall and stronger border security, but the Constitution clearly states that money cannot be spent unless Congress has passed a law to do so.”
Many Republican senators also said they oppose any form of executive overreach, which includes former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal alien amnesty.
However, one federal district judge ruled in August 2018 that DACA was illegal, whereas many lawyers have argued that Trump has the authority under the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to reappropriate money to build the wall.
Further, several attorneys general, including Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill, and Lousiana attorney general Jeff Landry, wrote an op-ed Thursday affirming Trump’s constitutional authority to declare a national emergency to build the wall.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), a constitutional lawyer who voted in favor of keeping the national emergency, came out last week to affirm Trump’s constitutional authority to declare a national emergency.
On the emergency declaration for the border, I’m with President @realDonaldTrump. He has the legal authority from Congress to declare this emergency and there should be no doubt the crisis at the border is an emergency situation pic.twitter.com/tZWetj7omK
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 7, 2019
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), the vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, affirmed Trump’s national emergency authority in a statement on Thursday.
“There is a humanitarian crisis at our southern border that demands attention and action. Iowans have been clear on their desire for a strong, secure border and to curb human trafficking and the flow of drugs into our state,” Ernst said.
The Iowa senator said, “Under the National Emergencies Act, the president has the authority to make this decision, and while I’ve consistently stated this is not the approach I would have preferred, I do recognize the need to secure our border.”
The Senate vote announcement comes as a Morning Consult/Politico poll suggests that nearly three-quarters of Republican voters would more likely vote for a candidate if they backed Trump’s national emergency on the border.
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.
After the Senate passed the resolution to end the national emergency, Trump tweeted that he already plans to veto the legislation, saying, “VETO!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019