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Sen. Ben Sasse. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Republican senators justified their votes on President Trump's national emergency on Thursday, with some defending their support of the U.S.-Mexico border wall funding, and others using their vote to express concern about government overreach.

The big picture: Despite the 12 Republicans who joined Democrats in their vote against the national emergency, the final vote fell short of the required 2/3 needed to override a veto. Trump tweeted Thursday following the vote that he "looks forward to VETOING" the resolution.

Yays: Voted to block emergency declaration

  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn): "I support the president on border security. I have urged him to build the 234 miles of border wall he has asked for in the fastest possible way by using $5.7 billion already approved by Congress. But his declaration to take an additional $3.6 billion that Congress has appropriated for military hospitals, barracks and schools is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution that I swore an oath to support and defend ... This declaration is a dangerous precedent."
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) "I take very seriously my oath to uphold the Constitution, and my respect for the balance within the separation of powers ... When the executive branch goes around the express intention of Congress on matters within its jurisdiction, we must speak up or legislative acquiescence will erode our constitutional authority."
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.): "I stand with President Trump on the need for a border wall and stronger border security, but the Constitution clearly states that money cannot be spent unless Congress has passed a law to do so."

Nays: Voted not to block the emergency declaration

  • Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.): "A humanitarian and security crisis exists along our southern border that requires immediate action. It is in our national interest to secure the border ... The president's use of an authority in existing law will fund the construction of a strong border security system that will be a deterrent to those who seek to illegally enter our country."
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.): "Congress gave the president the power to take such action in order to provide for our national security and keep Americans safe, so this isn't about whether or not the president is acting within his rights or about the separation of powers. This vote was about whether or not we agree that there is a crisis at the southern border and whether or not we believe the president should have the tools to fix it..."
  • Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.): "I voted against the resolution because I read the declaration and I read the statutes, and I am confident POTUS is within his constitutional and statutory authority."
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): "This was a difficult vote. I understand my colleagues' real concerns regarding the vast emergency powers that Congress has given the President over the last half-century ... We cannot end this emergency without securing our southern border, and we cannot secure our border without building the wall."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Report: "Clear evidence" China is committing genocide against Uyghurs

The scene in 2019 of a site believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese authorities have breached "each and every act prohibited" under the UN Genocide Convention over the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province, an independent report published Tuesday alleges.

Why it matters: D.C. think-tank the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, which released the report, said in a statement the conclusions by dozens of experts in war crimes, human rights and international law are "clear and convincing": The ruling Chinese Communist Party bears responsibility.

Updated 4 hours ago - Technology

Twitter sues Texas AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at February's Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Twitter on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), saying that his office launched an investigation into the social media giant because it banned former President Trump from its platform.

Driving the news: Twitter is seeking to halt an investigation launched by Paxton into moderation practices by Big Tech firms including Twitter for what he called "the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President," days after they banned him following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.