Repub­li­cans brac­ing for Trump’s emer­gency veto

The Buffalo News - - WASHINGTON NEWS - By Karoun Demir­jian

WASH­ING­TON – Repub­li­can lead­ers ex­pect Pres­i­dent Trump to veto a mea­sure at­tempt­ing to over­turn his dec­la­ra­tion of a na­tional emer­gency to en­able con­struc­tion of a wall along the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der, after the Se­nate votes on it this week.

Sen. John Bar­rasso of Wy­oming, the No. 3 Repub­li­can in the Se­nate, said on Fox News’ “Sun­day Morn­ing Fu­tures” that he had met with Trump “a cou­ple of times” over the past week and that “he’s go­ing to veto this, and his veto will be sus­tained.”

Bar­rasso’s com­ments are an ef­fec­tive ad­mis­sion that the GOP does not have the votes to pre­vent the full Se­nate from vot­ing to an­nul Trump’s or­der, which many law­mak­ers feel rips con­gres­sional au­thor­ity away from them and threat­ens im­por­tant mil­i­tary con­struc­tion pro­jects.

“There are pro­jects there that take care of the men and women that keep us safe that are go­ing to be im­pacted,” Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Such an emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion, he noted, “goes against what our Con­sti­tu­tion has said” – ad­ding that even though Congress may have given the pres­i­dent cer­tain bud­get­ing au­thor­i­ties dur­ing times of emer­gency, “I think we need to call that back.”

Hurd was one of 13 Repub­li­cans who sup­ported the ef­fort to nul­lify Trump’s emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion when the House voted on a sim­i­lar mea­sure last month that passed 245 to 182. That margin is not enough to over­come a pres­i­den­tial veto, how­ever.

Trump has tried to dis­suade Se­nate Repub­li­cans from sup­port­ing the mea­sure, in­sist­ing in a tweet last week that “Se­nate Repub­li­cans are not vot­ing on con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity or prece­dent, they are vot­ing on des­per­ately needed Bor­der Se­cu­rity & the Wall.”

“Our Coun­try is be­ing in­vaded with Drugs, Hu­man Traf­fick­ers, & Crim­i­nals of all shapes and sizes,” Trump’s Wed­nes­day tweet con­tin­ued. “That’s what this vote is all about. STAY UNITED!”

Yet with four Se­nate Repub­li­cans al­ready com­mit­ting to sup­port the Democrats’ res­o­lu­tion, it is clear that Trump will have to ex­er­cise his veto power to keep his emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion and wall plans alive.

Few law­mak­ers on ei­ther side deny there is a prob­lem at the bor­der that the gov­ern­ment must fix. But Trump’s crit­ics, in­clud­ing many in the GOP, say that strate­gi­cally de­ployed tech­nol­ogy and mon­i­tor­ing, as well as a new ap­proach to the pro­cess­ing of asy­lum cases, can do more to ad­dress the spike in ar­rivals of un­doc­u­mented mi­grants at the south­ern bor­der than any ed­i­fice Trump has pro­posed.

Even after the pres­i­dent goes above Congress to se­cure his emer­gency funds, a new fight is on the hori­zon, over a re­quest for an ad­di­tional $8.6 bil­lion in wall fund­ing that the ad­min­is­tra­tion is ex­pected to make of Congress this week.

The money, which is part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s bud­get re­quest for fis­cal 2020, would be di­vided across the Home­land Se­cu­rity and De­fense de­part­ments to aid the con­struc­tion of a bor­der wall.

Ac­cord­ing to a se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial, the White House be­lieves that money – com­bined with the funds Trump is able to re­di­rect as a re­sult of his emer­gency an­nounce­ment – will let the gov­ern­ment fin­ish wall con­struc­tion along 722 miles of the bor­der, which has long been a White House goal.

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