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McConnell: Senate to block Trump’s border emergency

Whether Trump can redirect billions towards his border wall will be voted on in a separate Senate measure later this month

March 4, 2019

1:55 PM

4 March 2019

1:55 PM

The Senate will pass a resolution to disapprove President Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency on the border, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.

Fellow Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul became the fourth Republican to join 47 Senate Democrats in support of a House-passed disapproval resolution, virtually ensuring that the measure will reach Trump’s desk.

It is expected that when the measure reaches him, President Trump will exercise his veto for the first time. To override a presidential veto, the measure would need to secure two-thirds support in both bodies of Congress – an extremely high bar to reach. The House fell 40 votes short of two-thirds passage on the measure last week.

Whether Trump can redirect billions towards his border wall will be voted on in a separate Senate measure later this month. Senate Republicans are studying whether the resolution can be amended, but that ‘it’s never been done before,’ McConnell said at an event in Louisville, Ken.

McConnell had urged the president not to declare an emergency because of the precedent that such a measure sets for future Democratic presidents.

‘That’s one reason I argued without success that he not take this route,’ he said.
‘I was one of those hoping the president would not take the national emergency route,’ McConnell said.

The Senate Majority Leader pledged to support President Trump once he had declared the emergency, ‘but I was hoping he wouldn’t take that particular path.’

Regardless of maneuvering in Congress, Trump’s emergency declaration will likely be tied up in litigation for years, as 16 states have sued over Trump’s declaration freeing up billions of dollars of spending on the border wall.


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