GOP Defections Threaten Trump's National Emergency Declaration

The Washington Post  The Washington Post

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said Sunday that he believed President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration would be rejected by the Supreme Court.

Paul noted that he believes allowing President Trump to move forward with this declaration would set a unsafe precedent when it comes to the checks and balances ensured by the Constitution, and Congress has the power of the purse.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he expects a resolution blocking President Trump's emergency declaration on the U.S./Mexico border to pass in the United States Senate.

"I can't vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn't been appropriated by Congress", Paul said.

The president's national emergency declaration, issued February 15 after Congress failed to produce the border-wall money he wants, allows him to access $3.6 billion in funds allocated for military construction projects. "If we take away those checks and balances, it's a risky thing", he added.

The resolution, introduced by Texas Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro, passed the Democratic controlled House on Tuesday by a vote of 245-182.

"I really think that Republicans that vote against border security and the wall, I think, you know, I've been okay at predicting things". With all 47 Senate Democrats expected to oppose it as well, four Republican votes would be enough to secure the resolution's passage.

Trump has argued numerous times the situation at the border constitutes a crisis and that a wall is critical to deterring illegal drugs and criminal gangs from coming into this country. Paul's support means the resolution will likely pass the Senate with bipartisan support and could force the president to issue his first veto.

He joined Republican Sens. The president then would have to decide whether to veto it, which he is likely to do.

And if GOP senators don't have anything good to say, Parkinson said, they should "keep their powder dry", according to the two people, who requested anonymity to detail the private discussion. The president has already said that if the legislation appears on his desk, he will veto it. "I disagree. Not only are the issues similar, but I think Youngstown Steel implications are even more profound in the case of emergency appropriations", Paul wrote.

He plans to divert about $6.2 billion to build his long-promised wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. The emergency declaration is an obvious end-run around Congress and could set a precedent to be exploited by future presidents eager to spend money on projects not approved by Congress. He's invoking other powers to transfer an additional $3.1 billion to construction.

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