Susan Collins was the first Republican senator to say she would vote for a resolution rejecting Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. That was last week. Her colleague from Alaska Lisa Murkowski said over the weekend that she’s “likely” to support such a resolution. On Monday, Thom Tillis became the third Republican senator to signal his intention to formally disapprove of the fake emergency. One more, and Trump’s in trouble.
The 1976 National Emergencies Act, under which he made his declaration, also allows for Congress to cancel the declaration. The House is expected to pass the resolution Tuesday, with universal support from Democrats and a few possible Republican defections. Once it’s delivered to the Senate, all 47 members of the Democratic Caucus are expected to vote for the resolution, meaning four Republicans would need to flip to send it Trump’s desk. Three already have and the next could come from among the following skeptics:
Roger Wicker, who told HuffPost, “I would be inclined to vote for the resolution of disapproval. I think it’s bad law and I think it’s bad strategy for the president.”
Mitt Romney, who said Monday, “The emergency course is not one I favor.”
Marco Rubio, who has been highly critical of the national emergency, calling it a violation of the Constitution. He hasn’t said how he’ll vote on the resolution.
Lamar Alexander, who said the resolution is “unnecessary, unwise, and inconsistent with the Constitution.”
Politico lists a few more Republicans who’ve expressed dismay over the declaration and haven’t said how they’ll vote on the resolution, including Ron Johnson, Cory Gardner, Roy Blunt, Pat Toomey, Pat Roberts, Jerry Moran, and Mike Lee.
If the resolution does pass the Senate, Trump has said he’ll veto it, but at that point the damage of a bipartisan rebuke will be done. And given Trump’s attempt to sway Republicans from voting for the resolution, and the efforts by the congressional GOP leadership to whip votes, it’s clearly damage that the party, and the president, would like to avoid.
Congress could, of course, override Trump’s veto, but that would require two-thirds of both the House and Senate. Such an unlikely turn would take many more House Republicans joining Justin Amash, the only one to say he’d vote for the resolution. While that’s a less-than-remote possibility, it’s one that House Republican leadership is not completely discounting. According to the Times, Republican whip Steve Scalise spent Monday night lobbying members to vote against the resolution.
Democrats are also lobbying Republicans, the Times reports, emphasizing the money Trump plans to take from military projects and give to the wall. Former Republican lawmakers are getting in on the act too. On Monday, 26 of them wrote a letter to those currently serving urging them to uphold “the authority of the first branch of government to resist efforts to surrender those powers to a president.”