Trump suffered a historic defeat as Senate Republicans joined with Democrats in voting to pass a resolution blocking Trump’s “national emergency” to fund his border wall.
Senate passes resolution killing Trump’s national emergency
Among the Republicans voting with Democrats were Sen Collins (R-ME) Sen Murkowski (R-AK) Sen Blunt (R-M) Sen Paul (R-KY) Sen Lee (R-UT) Sen Romney (R-UT) Sen Alexander (R-TN) Sen Toomey (R-PA) Sen Moran (R-KS) Sen Portman (R-OH). In all, 12 Republicans voted against Trump and for the resolution.
Before the vote, Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY):
But most importantly, Madam President, President Trump has shown zero understanding of what his emergency portends for the separation of powers in our democracy. The president seems to regard the government – not just the Justice Department – as his own personal tool to do whatever he wants, whether it’s in the private sector or the public sector. We’ve never had a president like this. We’ve had lots of presidents with lots of foibles, but none of them seem to equate their own ego with the entire functioning of the government of the United States – except this one.
Well we can’t succumb to that. It’s our job here in Congress to limit executive overreach, to defend our core powers, to prevent a president – any president – from ignoring the will of Congress every time it fails to align with the will of the president. That’s what balance of powers is. That’s what checks and balances are. That’s what every one of us learned in second grade civics class. But all that teaching in the second grade civics class seems to be lost on so many of my Republican colleagues in blind obeisance to this president, no matter what the consequences.
This is not an issue of the wall. It goes way beyond that. We’ve had our fights and disputes on the wall for several years here. However you feel about our policy at the southern border, however you feel about the president, Senators should vote YES on the resolution to terminate the emergency declaration. This resolution is about more than this president; it’s about the presidency. Now and on into the future.
One of the biggest presidential humiliations in recent memory
Trump begged Republican Senators not to vote against his emergency on Twitter:
A vote for today’s resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019
Senate Republicans were not moved. Trump is showing that he has little influence over Republican Senators and that there is at least a group of Republican Senators who are willing to put the Constitution ahead of their party.
Trump has made the wall his signature passion project, so for members of his own party to reject him in this fashion is an unprecedented rebuke. Trump is a hollowed out president whose power over other elected Republicans is totally centered on his supporters.
Donald Trump has less than zero influence with lawmakers on his own, which is why this resolution passed.
Trump will veto the resolution and an override vote will happen
Unless something dramatic happens the Senate will not have the votes to override Trump’s veto, but that will not diminish the level of humiliation associated with this defeat. The fate of Trump’s national emergency will be decided in court with a clear legislative history of congressional opposition.
In the end, the White House efforts flopped and led to a defeat that will define the Trump presidency.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association