Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Senate Looks Poised To Reject Trump's Emergency Declaration

Senate Looks Poised To Reject Trump's Emergency Declaration

Republican Senator Mike Lee, who had been shopping a second bill that would keep the emergency declaration in effect temporarily, said on Wednesday the White House had said Trump would not support his proposal, so he would be voting on Thursday to end the emergency declaration.

Trump declared the national emergency at the southern border in order to secure funds without congressional approval to build a border wall.

The disapproval resolution passed the House with a vote of 245-182 with the help of 13 Republicans.

Opposition by a few Republican senators to President Donald Trump's emergency declaration at the U.S. -Mexico border appears to be softening. Since the Democratic-run House voted last month to block Trump, Senate passage would send the resolution to the White House, where it would face a certain veto. The resolution requires a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress to override a veto.

But approval of the resolution would highlight a clash in which Trump was being forced to protect his signature campaign promise by vetoing legislation sent to him by a Republican-led Senate.

"After Pelosi's comments, Republicans countered, asking why Democrats would have issued 81 document requests to people associated with President Trump if they're not already planning on impeachment". John Cornyn, R-Texas, an adviser to Senate GOP leadership, said of the eleventh-hour White House lobbying effort.

Earlier Wednesday, in another blow to Lee's efforts, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that her chamber would not consider Senate legislation to rein in presidential powers, characterizing it as an attempt to give Trump "a pass" on violating the Constitution.

The White House and GOP senators are working on a compromise that would limit the power of presidents to declare national emergencies on their own.

She said he had a "robust discussion" about the emergency declaration with Pence on Tuesday, and will decide how to vote on the resolution to overturn it before Thursday's vote.

Republicans have also voiced concerns about the precedent that could be set for future Democratic presidents to declare national emergencies on any number of issues. The official was not authorized to publicly private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Under the emergency declaration Trump signed on February 15, he would take money from other federal programs to build the barrier he says is needed to curb illegal immigration and the flow of illicit drugs.

The senator cautioned that Trump's position may still change - "It is only Wednesday, and it is the Trump administration".

He said the proposed measure would apply "prospectively", not to Trump's current border emergency. If Trump would commit to signing a bill that would handcuff future emergency declarations, some of those senators might support his border declaration.

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