Feb 26, 2019

3 GOP senators say they'll vote to block Trump's emergency declaration

Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Thom Tillis and Susan Collins. Photos: Mark Wilson; Chip Somodevilla; Alex Wong via Getty Images

Three Republican senators — Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) — have said they will vote in favor of a resolution to block President Trump's national emergency, which just passed the House.

Why it matters: Just 4 Republican senators are needed for the resolution to pass, though Trump has already signaled that he will veto the bill if it makes to his desk. It would be the first veto of his presidency, in direct defiance of Republican concerns about executive overreach.

Several other Republican senators are undecided on how they'll vote on the House resolution, but have previously expressed concerns about Trump's use of emergency powers.

  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): "We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution. Today's national emergency is border security. But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal."
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.): I’m not in favor of operating government by national emergency. ... We have a government that has a constitution that has a division of power, and revenue raising and spending power was given to Congress.”
  • Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.): “I never thought that was a good idea. I still don’t. My view is that this is better to be resolved through the legislative process.”
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander: "The president has made a strong case for increased border security, but declaring a national emergency is unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution."
  • Sen. Ben Sasse: "We absolutely have a crisis at the border, but as a Constitutional conservative I don’t want a future Democratic President unilaterally rewriting gun laws or climate policy. If we get used to presidents just declaring an emergency any time they can’t get what they want from Congress, it will be almost impossible to go back to a Constitutional system of checks and balances."
  • Sen. Mike Lee: "Congress has been ceding far too much power to the executive branch for decades. We should use this moment as an opportunity to start taking that power back."

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