GOP Senators Are Desperately Trying to Get Trump to Back Off Emergency

Many Republicans in the U.S. Senate are desperately working behind the scenes to get Donald Trump to back off his emergency declaration as they look for an alternative way to fund his border wall.

According to a report in POLITICO, these senators are afraid that they will lose power while appearing to be puppets of the president.

Some senators close to Trump have warned him that he could face more defections from his own party that would lead to an override of an expected presidential veto.

“Republican senators queasy about the legality and precedent of Trump’s unilateral move to fund his wall are exploring whether the president will commit to signing a bill amending the National Emergency Act and curtailing presidential power,” POLITICO reports. “In exchange, they would consider standing with the president and potentially vote against the House-passed disapproval measure.”

With four GOP senators on the record that they would join with Democrats to vote on a bill that has already been approved by the Democratic-held House, POLITICO now reports that “roughly a dozen GOP senators are weighing whether to vote against the White House.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has proposed an agreement requiring Congress to approve any emergency declaration after 30 days, however the White House is balking.

“There was some conversation about it … it’s probably going to be a pretty tough sell. No president wants to constrain their power, but I hope we have a good conversation about it,” explained Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). “Anything like that would be purely prospective, so I think we’re going to deal with the current declaration on its own terms.”

In the meantime, according to The Hill, the White House is engaged in a last-ditch effort to win votes of Republican senators against the measure disapproving of his emergency declaration.

Trump knows he is going to lose the Senate vote later this week, but he wants to “keep the tally as low as possible” and so he is now “putting skin in the game trying to sway undecided GOP lawmakers.”

“We talk to a number of members every single day, certainly at the presidential and the staff level, and we’re going to continue to engage with them in this process,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said “the president and the White House and some of our members are still discussing the path forward and hoping we get kind of a resolution.”

A senior Senate Republican aide said the White House is “very involved” in trying to come up with a solution to avoid an embarrassing vote later this week.