A dozen Republicans assisted Democrats in overturning the president’s emergency declaration, prompting Trump to promise a veto.
Twelve Republican defections led to the Senate passing on powerful message to President Donald Trump on Thursday, with a bipartisan alliance of lawmakers voting to overturn his declaration of emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The vote, reports CNN, was 59-41.
However, that number falls short of the threshold needed to topple Trump’s expected veto.
Among the Republicans who supported the resolution were Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mitt Romney of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah.
CNN suggests the break marks the second time this week that conservative legislators broke with the president. On Wednesday, the Senate moved to limit U.S. military support for a Saudi-led and Saudi-funded war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
But the national emergency—announced after Congress refused to back the commander-in-chief’s request for billions of dollars in border wall funding—has serious implications for Democrats and Republicans alike. While Democrats fear that Trump’s executive action constitutes a misuse of power, Republicans worry the move could set powerful precedent for future leaders to side-step right-wing constituents and enact an array of policy initiatives.
Republican Senators are overthinking tomorrow’s vote on National Emergency. It is very simply Border Security/No Crime – Should not be thought of any other way. We have a MAJOR NATIONAL EMERGENCY at our Border and the People of our Country know it very well!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2019
“Declaring a national emergency to access different funds sets a dangerous new precedent,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) told the Senate before casting his vote. “It opens the door for future presidents to implement just about any policy they want.”
He added that “a future President could seize industries […] a future President may well say that climate change is a national emergency and use emergency authorities to implement the Green New Deal.”
Trump, naturally, refused to acknowledge the nuance, tweeted Wednesday that “Republican Senators are overthinking tomorrow’s vote on National Emergency. It is very simply Border Security/No Crime – Should not be thought of any other way. We have a MAJOR NATIONAL EMERGENCY at our Border and the People of our Country know it very well!”
Sen. Collins opined that Trump’s fantasy of a bigger, better fence along the Rio Grande undermines governmental separation of power, stripping Congress of its authority to budget and direct appropriations.
“It also sets a bad precedent for future Presidents—both Democratic and Republican—who might seek to use this same maneuver to circumvent Congress to advance their policy goals,” Collins added.
Vox.com notes that even if the resolution is liable to be vetoed, it could still be considered by courts. A multitude of organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have already launched lawsuits against the Trump administration and its underwhelming emergency.
Separately, the attorneys general of 16 states have filed their own lawsuits to shoot down the executive action.
“When this issue gets to the courts, Congress’s view that no emergency exists might well affect how aggressively the courts review the president’s arguments to the contrary,” Richard Pildes, a constitutional law professor at NYU, told Vox.com.
Trump’s response was smack-full of his hallmark simplicity, simply tweeting “VETO!” after the resolution’s passage.