Republicans Defy Trump on Border Emergency as President Pledges ‘VETO!’

The Republican-run Senate rejected President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border on Thursday setting up a veto fight and dealing him a conspicuous rebuke

The Republican-run Senate rejected President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border on Thursday setting up a veto fight and dealing him a conspicuous rebuke

The Republican-run Senate firmly rejected US President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the south-west border on Thursday. Presidents have never before declared an emergency after Congress voted to deny them money for the same goal. Framing Thursday's vote that way seemed to be a message all but aimed directly at undecided GOP senators facing re-election races next year, of whom there are several.

With the Democratic-controlled House's approval of the same resolution last month, Senate passage sends it to Trump. To that question, 79 percent responded "secure borders", including 68 percent of Democrats, while 21 percent said, "basically open borders".

"VETO!" Mr Trump tweeted minutes after the vote. On the other hand, Senate Republicans-including some who have talked a lot about opposing Trump's erratic actions-overwhelmingly rolled over and voted to let Trump's emergency go through.

Lee had worked for weeks to head off the fight, doing everything he could think of to alert the White House that a clash was inevitable if Trump continued to pursue a border wall with Mexico by subverting congressional powers.

It comes just a day after the Senate rebuked him on foreign policy by approving a bill to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

"Democrats and Republicans both know the sad truth: the president did not declare an emergency because there is one", Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Other Republicans tried and failed to cut a deal with the White House to help defeat the resolution. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations. The dozen Republicans who voted to overturn the emergency resolution included occasional Trump skeptics like fellow Utah Sen.

"The president is operating within existing law, and the crisis on our border is all too real", he said. Susan Collins of ME, a GOP defector who faces re-election next year in a state that reveres independent streaks in its politicians.

A coalition of 16 states, including California, Nevada and New Mexico, sued the president and his administration on February 18 in San Francisco's federal court, arguing the president does not have the power to divert the funds against the will of Congress. "So let the chips fall where they may".

Many political observers assumed Sen.

"I'll probably have to veto", Trump said on March 14 before the senate vote.

"As a USA senator, I can not justify providing the executive with more ways to bypass Congress".

The Republican rebels were Mitt Romney and Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi. But if he lost Trump Republicans, which now pretty much equates to strongly identified Republican partisans, victory is more or less impossible. Among Democrats, the opposition to the emergency declaration was even more strident.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the declaration is "the predictable and understandable consequences of Democrats' decision to put partisan obstruction ahead of the national interest".

"We've never had a president like this".

During the 2016 campaign, Trump had repeatedly claimed that Mexico would pay for the wall. They said he issued his declaration only because Congress agreed to provide less than $1.4 billion for barriers and he was desperate to fulfil his campaign promise on the wall.

But Trump told Lee on Wednesday that he opposed Lee's legislation, prompting Lee himself to say he would back the resolution. Those cases could effectively block Trump from diverting extra money to barrier construction for months or longer. "This issue is not about strengthening our border security, a goal that I support". Rob Portman of OH warned in remarks on the Senate floor ahead of the vote.

Gidley made the remark on "America's Newsroom" Thursday, just hours before the Senate will vote on a resolution to block the declaration.

The vote was 59-41, an overwhelming vote against the President's executive action. That would have applied to future emergencies but not Trump's current order unless he sought to renew it next year.

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