Will Republicans Defy Trump on His National Emergency?

Will Republicans Defy Trump on His National Emergency?

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would move swiftly to block President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border, and she is.

The House will vote Tuesday on a disapproval resolution to reject Trump’s declaration and his attempt to redirect taxpayer money for construction of a border wall, Pelosi said Friday on a conference call with reporters. She described the measure as defending Congress’s “exclusive power of the purse.”

The measure was filed on Friday by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), who said he had lined up at least 226 cosponsors for the bill, more than enough to ensure passage. That group includes one Republican, conservative Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, but Castro and Pelosi said they will be looking to gather more GOP support next week. "I know they care about the Constitution of the United States; I know they care about the separation of powers and the coequal nature of the branches of government," Pelosi said, according to The Hill. "What's really important is how they will vote on Tuesday."

Democrats are unlikely to find much backing from the other side of the aisle, though. Few House Republicans are likely to defy Trump, even as some have expressed unease with his executive action or concern that it might affect money slated for their districts, The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong report. The emergency declaration is popular with Republican voters, according to polls, and voting to block the president on his border plan could invite a primary challenge in 2020.

On the Senate side, where the GOP holds a 53-to-47 majority, Democrats, assuming no defections, would need four Republicans to join them for the measure to pass. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said this week that she will vote for a clean resolution, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) predicted Friday on Fox News that a “handful” of Republican senators would support it, though he said he would “absolutely not.”

Trump has promised to veto the bill if it is sent to his desk, and Graham predicted that there would not be enough GOP support to reach the required two-thirds majority to override a veto.

Pelosi on Friday declined to say whether House Democrats will also be filing their own lawsuit or joining outside suits in an effort to block Trump’s declaration. "That remains to be seen," she said. "But there will be a challenge."

Quote of the Day

“Whether you support the border wall or oppose it, you should be deeply troubled by the president’s intent to obtain it through a plainly unconstitutional abuse of power. … The time for silent disagreement is over. You must speak out.”

– Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), in an “open letter” to Republicans published in The Washington Post