Republicans bracing for Trump’s emergency veto
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.