The House is expected to vote Tuesday to overturn President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to build a wall on the US southern border.
While many Republicans are expected to vote against the resolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pitched it on Monday as a nonpartisan effort to protect Congress’ power of the purse.
“This isn’t about the border,” said Pelosi, a California Democrat. “This is about the Constitution.”
The resolution by Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas, is expected to pass and will be taken up by the Senate in the next couple of weeks, while multiple lawsuits contest Trump’s authority in court to build barriers for an emergency that plaintiffs argue doesn’t exist.
During the recent 35-day government shutdown, the longest such federal shutdown in US history, Trump pushed Congress to appropriate $5.7 billion for physical barriers along the border with Mexico. The divided legislature rejected his proposal and the President eventually accepted its bill for $1.375 billion in border security measures.
But before signing the bill, Trump announced he would go around Congress to get the wall he wanted, presenting Republicans on Capitol Hill with a difficult choice. While some will support their party’s leader on his top campaign issue, others argue it could set up a poor precedent for future Democratic presidents to push liberal policies without congressional input.
If four Republicans join all the Democrats in the Senate to pass the resolution in the coming weeks, Trump has said that he would veto it — his first as President. Congress would then need an overwhelming majority — two-thirds of its members — in both chambers to overrule the President.
“I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security,” tweeted Trump. “Without strong Borders, we don’t have a Country – and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don’t fall into the Democrats ‘trap’ of Open Borders and Crime!”
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, of Tennessee, told CNN on Monday he does not support the President’s emergency declaration, but would review the resolution of disapproval before deciding how he’d vote.
“I think it is unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the Constitution,” said Alexander of the declaration. “And I feel strongly about that.”
Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said he was “leaning against” voting for the resolution.
“I am leaning against the resolution of disapproval mainly because I think this is (Senate Minority Leader Chuck) Schumer’s and Pelosi’s way of painting the President in the corner,” Cornyn told reporters Monday, adding that Trump “said all along he wanted money to do border security and they basically we’re determined not to give him what he thought was necessary.”
Cornyn, a member of the leadership team, predicted the resolution will pass the Republican-controlled Senate but die in the House when it attempts a veto override.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy expressed confidence that the GOP would deny votes in the House for a veto-proof majority.
“Yes,” McCarthy, a California Republican, said when CNN asked if they’d have the votes to deny a veto-proof majority. “If you read what the Democrats … say (that) the emergency is over — no, it’s not.”