Senate Republicans push plan to maintain national emergency at border

Senate Republicans push plan to maintain national emergency at border

Many Senate Republicans have stood by the president and said that Trump is right to take action on the border.

A Morning Consult/Politico poll released on Wednesday revealed a hard choice for Republican lawmakers mulling whether to vote to nullify the national emergency on the border: Break with President Trump's efforts to build the wall and secure the border and alienate the GOP base, or attempt to gain Democrats and Independent votes. The White House nonetheless views the chaos as a mess of senators' own making, one senior administration official said.

Vice President Mike Pence has met privately at the Capitol with five GOP senators as Republicans sought a way to bolster support for Trump in a showdown vote set for Thursday.

That would be enough to kill the resolution in the Senate, provided no other GOP senators oppose Trump's declaration or alter their position.

Trump said "we'll see" whether he has to veto the congressional resolution ending his emergency declaration. "Let's tell the president he cannot use his overreaching power to declare an emergency when he couldn't get Congress to do what he wanted". Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rand Paul of Kentucky - somewhere between seven and 15 Republicans remain conflicted on the disapproval resolution, according to a senior Republican aide familiar with the discussions.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), a constitutional lawyer and a freshman senator, came out in favor of President Trump's move to secure the border through the National Emergencies Act. The White House, so far, has declined to provide that commitment.

In addition to the three Republican senators who are solidly opposed to the declaration - Sens. The resolution requires a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress to override a veto.

The Senate's 47-member Democratic caucus is unified in support of the disapproval resolution, so just four Republican defections would give the measure the majority needed to pass.

If passed into law, Lee's bill could impact Trump's national border emergency in the future, since ongoing national emergency declarations must be reaffirmed annually.

Lee had introduced a second measure that would end future emergency declarations after 30 days unless Congress votes to extend them. Trump had repeatedly said Mexico would pay for the wall, which is not happening.

In New York, federal prosecutors are examining the president's role in hush-money payments shortly before the election to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep them quiet about affairs they said they had with Trump. One said Tillis told his colleagues he could change his vote if Trump was indeed ready to curb presidential powers to declare emergencies without Congress' approval.

The strongest chance of blocking Trump's border emergency is likely several lawsuits filed by Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and others.

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