Senator Rand Paul will be the fourth Republican Senator to oppose President Trump’s national emergency to secure border wall funding. The House of Representatives passed a vote for the disapproval of the national emergency last Tuesday, with 13 Republicans siding with Democrats. President Trump has said he will veto any resolution attempting to block his national emergency. Currently, both chambers of the House don’t have enough votes to override a presidential veto.
In an article by the Bowling Green Daily News, Paul was speaking at a Kentucky event on Saturday where he said, “I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been approved by Congress”. Paul went on to say “We want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.”
Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Thom Tillis are the other 3 Republicans that support the disapproval resolution. Among other Republicans the discussion centers around whether to oppose President Trump on an issue that the party would have opposed President Obama on. Today, on the Senate floor, John Cornyn (R-Tex), said “President Trump is using power delegated to him.” Cornyn also pointed out that Congress has granted emergency powers 123 times with presidents using the power 60 times. Cornyn also expressed concerns about where the president would appropriate border security funds from.
While on CNN recently, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La), called the GOP argument that a Democrat president would declare emergencies for liberal issues a “specious argument”. Kennedy went on to say “I don’t think the president doing this is going to end Western order”. Kennedy also believes that the president is rethinking the situation.
Fearing that the national emergency will be held up by lawsuits, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) asked on the Senate floor last Thursday that President Trump consider rescinding the emergency declaration. Alexander supports a Trump executive order that would seize money from the Treasury Department forfeiture fund, as well as the Defense Department anti-drug account. Those actions combined with the $1.4 billion Congress has already given President Trump will give him more than the $5 billion he is seeking. Alexander hasn’t stated how he will vote on the disapproval resolution.
Should President Trump not rescind the national emergency order, the Senate will hold a vote on the disapproval resolution before the mid-March recess. This undoubtedly will put the national emergency on hold until the next session begins.