Donald Trump says lawmakers will have to go through him to end his border emergency. He said Thursday that he will use the power of his pen for the first time in his presidency.
Trump said he would veto a bipartisan resolution senators plan to pass today that would terminate his national emergency.
‘It’s really a border security vote. It’s pure and simple, it’s a vote for border security, it’s a vote for no crime,’ he argued from the Oval Office.
Trump said he would support legislation reining in executive power, if Republicans support his border emergency now, appearing to make a U-turn on a compromise solution a senator said the White House had rejected.
But it didn’t matter. At least eight GOP senators, possibly more, planned to vote for the resolution of disapproval as lawmakers from his own party rebellec against his use of executive authority.
Four new Republicans joined the coalition on Thursday — Utah’s Mitt Romney, Ohio’s Rob Portman, Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, Kansas’ Jerry Moran and Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander.
Donald Trump says he will veto a bipartisan resolution senators plan to pass today that would terminate his national emergency
Trump refused to back down, after a journalist asked if he was rethinking his emergency, insisting legislators did not have the votes to override him.
‘No, no, I don’t know what the vote will be. It doesn’t matter, I’ll probably have to veto. It’s not going to be overturned,’ he said.
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer meanwhile called it a ‘red-letter day in the history of how the United States functions’ as he urged senators in prepared remarks to restrain Trump now.
Senators from his party proceeded to trash the president’s emergency on the floor as an abuse of power.
Alexander also took the floor to announce his yes vote on the termination resolution.
‘It is inconsistent with the United States Constitution that I took an oath to support and defend,’ the retiring lawmaker said.
He said the founders intentionally gave the legislative branch the power of the purse after the Revolutionary War to keep the president from acting like a king.
‘This check on the executive is a source of our freedom,’ he said.
Allowing Trump to declare an emergency to build a wall that Congress refused to fund sets a ‘dangerous precedent,’ he argued in his Thursday morning speech.
The U.S. Senate will take up the emergency resolution this afternoon.
‘I will vote to support the president’s decision later today, and I will encourage our colleagues to do the same,’ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell announced from the floor.
With the test looming, Trump said, ‘A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction). I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!’
He seemed to suggest later that he would be willing to make a deal with Republicans balking at his emergency who’d pitched the vice president on a compromise two days prior.
McConnell advised senators who disagree with Trump to support legislation amending his emergency powers.
He suggested they examine how the National Emergencies Act can be updated to reflect those concerns.
‘I hope they can report bipartisan solutions through the regular order that the full Senate can take up,’ he said.
McConnell encouraged lawmakers to ‘not lose sight’ of the vote that is ‘before us later today,’ which he said was on a ‘narrow question not especially a difficult.’
Trump told GOP senators Wednesday, as he attempted to quell the rebellion quit ‘overthinking’ his national emergency as they deliberated how to vote on a resolution rebuking him.
Trump says he told them to ‘vote anyway you want, vote how you feel good’ while cautioning that it will ‘very bad thing for them long into the future’ if they move to terminate it.
‘I think anybody going against border security, drug trafficking human trafficking, that’s a bad vote,’ he warned on Wednesday.
President Trump told GOP senators to quit ‘overthinking’ his national emergency as they deliberated how to vote on a resolution rebuking him
He insisted the country has a ‘MAJOR NATIONAL EMERGENCY’ on the border and that’s all they need to be considerin
A movement to curb executive authority was afoot as Republicans looked for an off-ramp on the eve of the emergency vote that put them on their first major collision course with the Republican Party leader.
Trump signaled he wasn’t concerned enough to take them up on a deal to preserve his emergency in exchange for future limitations, however, noting at a White House briefing on drugs that he may have to exercise his first veto to protect it.
‘We have a vote tomorrow on national emergency, we’ll see whether or not I have to do the veto, and it will be, I think, all very successful regardless of how it all works out,’ he stated.
Trump insisted early Wednesday afternoon on Twitter that the country has a ‘MAJOR NATIONAL EMERGENCY’ on the border and that’s all senators need to be considering.
He claimed later, at his meeting on drug trafficking, that it is an ‘urgent national crisis’ his administration is ‘doing many, many things’ to combat, in addition to a wall.
He argued once again that the vote is not about about constitutionality, nor is it a vote on precedent.
‘You should take a look at what President Obama did with DACA and with so many other things, that was no precedent,’ he said. ‘And I think most Republican senators fully understand that.’
In response to a query from a reporter, Trump denied a charge from Rand Paul that he was putting extreme pressure on senators to back him in the vote, saying, ‘Nobody’s beaten up, I said use your own discretion.’
Trump insisted that Democrats voting to terminate his resolution are for open borders and want drugs and crime to flow into the country unregulated.
‘I guess they think its good politically. I happen to think it’s bad politically,’ he assessed. ‘And the Republicans aren’t, but I told Republican senators vote any way you want, vote how you feel good.’
A group of Republican senators pitched the vice president Tuesday on a deal to spare the president the embarrassment of having the border emergency voted down in the GOP-controlled Senate.
But one of them said after a meeting between Trump and senators from the party on Wednesday afternoon, that the White House had signaled there was no such deal to be had.
The offer involved the president backing a proposal that would limit his power to railroad Congress with future emergencies. They presented it as a way to preserve Trump’s border crisis declaration and save him from having to exercise his first veto.
Republican senators put it to Mike Pence in a meeting he took at the request of Sen. Thom Tillis on Tuesday, a senior administration official told DailyMail.com. Pence pledged to take the deal back to the president but made no other commitments.
One of the proposals came from Sen. Mike Lee. His bill would cancel any future emergency that does not receive the approval of Congress within 30 days.
Lee’s office said Wednesday afternoon that the White House ‘had communicated it would not support’ the bill that would ‘reclaim legislative powers’ from the executive branch.
‘Unfortunately, it appears the bill does not have an immediate path forward, so I will be voting to terminate the latest emergency declaration,’ Lee said in a corresponding statement. ‘I hope this legislation will serve as a starting point for future work on this very important issue.’
Asked if the senator was rethinking his position, based on the president’s new tweet suggesting he’d be willing to back legislation like Lee’s, a spokesman told DailyMail.com on Thursday that the Republican lawmaker is still planning to vote yes on the termination resolution.
A group of Republican senators pitched the vice president on a deal to spare the president the embarrassment of having his national emergency voted down in the GOP -controlled Senate
Republican senators put it to Mike Pence in a meeting he took at the request of Sen. Thom Tillis (pictured) a source said
The White House has not commented directly on the offer.
Trump said prior to a Wednesday meeting with Republican senators, ‘I’ll have to take a look at what they present. They are coming over in a little while to present something.’
‘But we’re in very good shape, in terms of the money and in terms of the national emergency,’ the president said.
His tweet suggesting he’d back the legislation never directly mentioned Lee, either.
Lee’s bill was gaining sponsors on Wednesday, with prominent Republican senators like Chuck Grassley and John Cornyn signing on.
President Trump assailed Democrats on Twitter in the meantime for backing ‘open borders’ and ‘crime’ as he used Twitter to rally support for his declaration.
‘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,’ he tweeted. ‘We have a MAJOR NATIONAL EMERGENCY at our Border and the People of our Country know it very well!’ he tweeted.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had also sought to deflate Lee’s effort to save Trump’s emergency on Wednesday when she put out a statement calling his bill a nonstarter.
‘Republican Senators are proposing new legislation to allow the President to violate the Constitution just this once in order to give themselves cover,’ she said. ‘The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass.’
Trump said this week that he needs roughly $8.6 billion to complete his border structure, in addition to the money the national emergency will provide him.
He says he cobbled together $8 billion so far from previous appropriations. He won’t get it from Democrats in Congress and may have kneecapped himself by agreeing to new restraints on his emergency powers like the ones that Lee wanted.
One of the proposals came from Sen. Mike Lee. He is pushing legislation that would end future national emergencies unless Congress votes to approve them within 30 days
The president still runs the risk of having his border emergency overturned, although it seemed less likely on Wednesday evening that Democrats would have the votes to override a veto.
Opponents of the emergency have the votes to pass a resolution terminating it. They do not currently have a veto-proof majority of 66 Senate votes.
Up to a dozen Republicans could break with the president on the emergency, Republican senators have said.
So far, ten have said they said they will not bail out Trump: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Thom Tillis, Rob Portman Alexander, Moran, Romney, Paul and Lee, although Tillis appeared to wavering on Wednesday as he considered his options.
It’s more than enough support for the resolution of disapproval to pass.
Chief White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a Monday briefing that the president has been in contact with lawmakers about the emergency in advance of the vote, but she did not identify them and did not elaborate on their discussions.
She argued that the president has the ‘authority’ to call an emergency and is doing what is ‘necessary’ to protect the border.
‘Let’s not forget, the only reason he has the authority to call a national emergency is because Congress gave him the right to do so,’ she said in response to a question from DailyMail.com.
Sanders asserted: ‘They failed to do their job. The President is fulfilling his duty, and he’s going to make sure he does what is necessary to protect the people of this country and secure our borders.’