Twelve Republican senators voted Thursday to terminate President Donald Trump’s national emergency, siding with Democrats to rebuke his attempt to use funds not appropriated by Congress to construct portions of his southern border wall.
Those senators included Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee and Mitt Romney of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Rob Portman of Ohio, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Marco Rubio of Florida and Roger Wicker of Missouri. All Democratic senators voted to terminate the declaration.
But the president has reiterated he will veto the measure, immediately tweeting after the vote, “VETO!” It will presumably by the second veto of his presidency due to his intention to also veto a resolution passed Wednesday that aimed to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Seven Republicans sided with Democrats on that vote.
“I see them as two totally unrelated issues that just happened to occur this week,” Collins told reporters. “As far as the emergency declaration is concerned, I truly believe that this is the case where the Senate has to stand up for its constitutional responsibilities and institutional prerogatives.”
Congress does not have enough votes to secure a two-thirds veto-proof majority, leading the executive action taken by the president to likely be tied up in ongoing court battles for the foreseeable future.
The number of Republican defectors who supported the termination of Trump’s emergency declaration increased in the days and hours leading up to the vote, with Alexander, Romney, Moran, Blunt, Lee, Portman and Rubio being last-minute additions.
As a result of their opposition to Trump’s unilateral move, Republicans have already shown support for amending the National Emergencies Act to curtail the power of future emergency declarations.
GOP senators who voted to terminate the president’s declaration disagreed it was about rebuking Trump, highlighting their belief that it was outside a president’s constitutional authority.
“We clearly have a crisis and we have to address it,” Portman told reporters. “But there’s a way to do it without creating this bad precedent, without having that funding tied up in courts and without having military construction projects at risk.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.