Senate has votes to block Trump's emergency declaration: McConnell

The Washington Post  The Washington Post

Rand Paul said 10 Republican Senators will vote against the resolution to terminate President Donald Trump's national emergency for border wall funding Monday afternoon.

"I can't vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn't been appropriated by Congress", Paul said according to a report by the Bowling Green Daily News. "If we take away those checks and balances, it's a risky thing", Paul suggested, according to the paper.

He joined Republican Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) have said they will vote for a resolution of disapproval.

The declaration came after Congress refused to authorize the $5.7 billion in funds Trump demanded for the barrier - appropriating only $1.375 billion.

In a opinion piece, Paul says, "I support President Trump".

President Donald Trump during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, on February 15, 2019.

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Paul did not address whether he believes the crisis at the border is a national emergency. With those four, and assuming that all 47 Democrats and their independent allies go against Trump, that would give opponents 51 votes - just past the majority needed.

"And using funds already approved by Congress avoids months or years of litigation, which could make it unlikely the full 234 miles are ever built", he said.

The letter and the announcement are required under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, under which 59 such emergencies have been declared, over 30 of which are still in effect.

Trump has gone to great lengths in the hope of forcing funding for a U.S./Mexico border wall. But that has to go through Congress. In the letter sent to Congress, Trump cited threats to Ukraine's democracy, sovereignty and territorial integrity and "actions and policies of the Government of the Russian Federation, including its purported annexation of Crimea and its use of force in Ukraine" as continuing to present "an unusual and extraordinary threat" to USA national security and foreign policy.

While a veto by Trump would be on track to be sustained, the legality of Trump's action will also be fought out in the courts. Trump will not sign a bill that overturns his own declaration, and he is poised to issue the first veto of his presidency to strike down the measure. "Everybody knows we need border security". Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters on Tuesday that he expects the Senate will vote before March 18.

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