- Twelve Republican senators on Thursday voted in favour of a resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to build his border wall.
- This is a major rebuke of Trump and led the president to tweet “VETO!” minutes after the vote – an apparent threat to sign the first veto of his presidency.
- The resolution already passed in the Democrat-controlled House in February, but this is particularly embarrassing for Trump given Republicans have a majority in the Senate.
A dozen Republican senators on Thursday voted in favour of a resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s controversial national emergency aimed at obtained funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border.
The Senate voted 59-41 to pass the resolution.
This is a major legislative embarrassment for Trump, and comes just a day after the Senate also rebuked the president by passing a resolution to end US support for Saudi Arabia in the Yemen conflict.
Trump tweeted“VETO!” minutes after the vote – an apparent threat to issue the first veto of his presidency in hopes of gaining funding for his border wall and deliver on one of his central 2016 campaign pledges.
Here are the 12 GOP senators who defied Trump and voted in favour of the resolution:
- Rand Paul of Kentucky: “Every single Republican I know decried President Obama’s use of executive power to legislate. We were right then. But the only way to be an honest officeholder is to stand up for the same principles no matter who is in power.”
- Mitt Romney of Utah: “We experienced a similar erosion of congressional authority with President Obama’s unilateral immigration orders – which I strenuously opposed. In the case before us now, where Congress has enacted specific policy, to consent to an emergency declaration would be both inconsistent with my beliefs and contrary to my oath to defend the constitution.”
- Marco Rubio of Florida: “We have an emergency at our border, which is why I support the president”s use of forfeiture funds and counter-drug money to build a wall. However, I cannot support moving funds that Congress explicitly appropriated for construction and upgrades of our military bases. This would create a precedent a future president may abuse to jumpstart programs like the Green New Deal, especially given the embrace of socialism we are seeing on the political left.”
- Mike Lee of Utah: “This is not about the president. This is not about my disagreement with or disapproval of the president or his approach to border security or his approach to build a barrier along our southern border. I think all those things need to happen. But this law, Mr. President, is wrong. It’s not President Trump’s fault. It’s Congress’. We need to change it.”
- Roy Blunt of Missouri: “This issue will be settled in the courts. That could take months and result in future Presidents having emergency authority to use in other ways…I was aggressively opposed to the Obama administration’s attempts to circumvent Congress’s appropriating authority to prop up Obamacare. The same principle should apply regardless of which party occupies the White House.”
- Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania: “This is not about border security.It’s about the process the president has chosen for funding that policy…The biggest concern is that it’s very, very important that we honour the constitutional responsibility that is assigned to Congress to determine spending.”
- Lisa Murkowski of Alaska: “I take very seriously my oath to uphold the Constitution, and my respect for the balance within the separation of powers. Article 1 provides that the power to appropriate lies with the legislative branch…We can and must address the President’s very legitimate concerns over border security, but we must not do it at the expense of ceding Congress’ power of the purse.”
- Susan Collins of Maine: “By declaring a national emergency, the President’s action comes into direct conflict with Congress’ authority to determine the appropriation of funds – a power vested in Congress by the framers of our Constitution in Article 1, Section IX. That is why this issue is not about strengthening our border security, a goal that I support..Rather, Mr. President, it is a solemn occasion involving whether or not this body will stand up for its institutional prerogatives and will support the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution.”
- Roger Wicker of Mississippi: “I am concerned about the precedent an emergency declaration sets, which might empower a future liberal President to declare emergencies to enact gun control or to address ‘climate emergencies,’ or even to tear down the wall we are building today…The system of checks and balances established by the Founders has preserved our democracy. It is essential that we protect this balance even when it is frustrating or inconvenient.”
- Rob Portman of Ohio: “The Congress, not the president, has the sole authority to determine how to spend the money. Although there is a crisis on the southern border, we are not in war time. Today I will vote to support the disapproval resolution.”
- Lamar Alexander of Tennessee: “I support the president on border security…But his declaration to take an additional $US3.6 billion that Congress has appropriated for military hospitals, barracks and schools is inconsistent with the US Constitution that I swore an oath to support and defend…This declaration is a dangerous precedent.”
- Jerry Moran of Kansas: “I share President Trump’s goal of securing our borders, but expanding the powers of the presidency beyond its constitutional limits is something I cannot support.”
This article will continue to be updated.
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