Eleven GOP senators voted to cancel President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national border emergency and his subsequent transfer of agency funding to build the border wall.
This 54 to 41 vote was not about the border wall, but whether “the Congress of the United States of America should yield its constitutionally prescribed power of the purse to the President,” said Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins.
“The answer to that question, regardless of who is in the White House … should be no,” Collins continued. “Congress alone is empowered by the constitution to adopt laws directing money from the U.S. Treasury.”
The president “stole” the money, and “I will not stand for that,” said Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy. The president took the funding from other projects, such as the replacement of older schools at military bases, said Leahy, who is the top Democrat on the appropriations panel.
Senators should vote against the resolution because “there is no Earthly reason why Democrats would force us to have one or the other,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“The joint resolution is passed,” Utah Sen. Mitt Romney announced from the Senate’s chair.
The 11 GOP senators who voted against the emergency and the wall included Collins, Romney, retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN), along with Sens. Roy Blunt (MO), Mike Lee (UT), Jerry Moran (KS), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rand Paul (KY), Rob Portman (OH), Pat Toomey (PA), and Roger Wicker (MS).
Collins spoke during the brief debate and vote, saying she supported additional construction at the border.
Several GOP senators declined to vote.
Trump will likely veto the resolution, and the 54 votes in favor are not enough to overcome the president’s veto.