On Thursday, Democrats were joined by 12 Senate Republicans to pass a resolution to block the national emergency resolution President Donald Trump issued to secure the southern border. The Senate vote of 59-41 has guaranteed a battle between President Trump and Congress.
The resolution passed the Democrat-controlled House last month with a vote of 245-182. According to The Associated Press, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office: “I’ll do a veto. It’s not going to be overturned. It’s a border security vote.”
Sen. Susan Collins from Maine has stated that her resistance to the declaration was based on the need to defend the proper role of Congress when it comes to funding the government. “That is why this issue is not about strengthening our border security, a goal that I support and have voted to advance … It is a solemn occasion involving whether or not this body will stand up for its institutional prerogatives and will support the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution. We must stand up and defend Congress’s institutional powers as the framers intended that we would. Even when doing so is inconvenient or goes against the outcome that we might prefer,” said Sen. Collins.
Among the Republicans who voted against President Trump’s declaration include Sens. Lamar Alexander, Mitt Romney, and Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Paul Rand, Roy Blunt from Missouri, Pat Toomey, Rob Portman, Jerry Moran, and Roger Wicker from Mississippi.
Based on the total number of votes that are needed to pass the resolution, neither chamber of Congress will be able to override the veto that Donald Trump is expected to issue.
At the last minute, Trump tweeted pleas to the GOP senators, asking for their support as well as pointing out that anyone who opposed him was doing the work of the House Democrats. “Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress….,” Trump wrote Thursday. “A vote for today’s resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!!” he tweeted.
Several Republicans made a statement in support of Trump’s controversial declaration. “We have reached a moment of crisis, but it’s not a constitutional crisis. It’s a crisis at the border, a crisis of American sovereignty. When hundreds of thousands of foreigners arrive at the southern border and demand entry, that’s not migration. That an emergency,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, who voted with Trump.
Republican Senator Cory Gardner from Colorado said that the Democrats are to blame for the security problem at the border. According to the Washington Post, Garder said: “There is a crisis at the border and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have prevented a solution. It should never have come to this, but in the absence of congressional action, the president did what Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer refused to do.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday that passing the resolution was a massive “constitutional issue.” He continued by saying: “This is not a normal vote. This will be a vote about the very nature of our Constitution and the separation of powers.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel chose to focus on the situation at the border that caused Trump to take the course of action that he did. “Let’s not lose sight of the particular question that’s before us later today, whether the facts tell us there’s truly a humanitarian and security crisis on our Southern border and whether the Senate, for some reason, feels this particular emergency on our own border does not rise to the other national emergencies current in effect,” he said.