White House tries to avert Senate defeat on border emergency

White House tries to avert Senate defeat on border emergency

The White House and Republican senators are in talks about a bill that would give Congress more power to block emergency declarations from a president in the future. Trump declared an emergency last month to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build border barriers after Congress voted to provide him with less than $1.4 billion for barrier construction.

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump appears headed for an embarrassing reprimand from members of his own party on Thursday, when the Senate is to vote on a resolution disapproving of his declaration of emergency over the border.

The disapproval resolution passed the Democratically-controlled House by a wide margin and garnered enough Republican public support to pass the Senate.

By late Tuesday, there were indications that GOP opposition to Trump's emergency along the Mexican border was softening. Pelosi's caution towards impeachment was echoed by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and other Democrats on Capitol Hill, who agreed their colleagues must remain patient until investigations have wrapped. Still, Congress would be highly unlikely to muster the two-thirds majorities needed to eventually override a veto.

The Senate is require to vote on the resolution by Friday.

Lee's proposal says a presidential emergency would last 30 days unless Congress votes to extend it.

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Paul said earlier this month that there were "at least 10" GOP senators prepared to oppose Trump's emergency. Congress has never before voted to overturn a president's emergency declaration. Lee said on Wednesday the White House had subsequently made clear his bill did "not have an immediate path forward" and he hoped it could be the "starting point for future work".

President Donald Trump is lobbying Republican senators to vote against legislation that would block his declaration of an emergency along the U.S. -Mexico border.

But the White House, in private, had been skeptical of the effort and has proposed some changes to lessen its impact, according to senators and other officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations. It would apply to future emergencies, not Trump's current border emergency.

GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Todd Young of IN were also IN discussions with the White House about related legislation that would curb the ability of future presidents to declare national emergencies.

Brown said he doesn't object to finding a "long term answer", to keep presidents from declaring emergencies in non-emergency situations, but said he didn't know of any cases where past presidents abused the law.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a Trump ally who has signaled that he opposes the president on both the declaration and the war in Yemen, said it's "good for the country" that lawmakers are taking steps to reassert Congress' constitutional powers of the purse and the power to declare war.

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