Rand Paul Says He Will Vote Against Trump’s National Emergency Declaration; Can’t Vote to Give Extra Powers to the President
WASHINGTON – Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said he will vote against a resolution in an attempt to terminate President Donald Trump’s national emergency for border wall funding.
Paul will join a group of three Republicans who have expressed their concerns with Trump’s declaration for a national emergency, saying they do not believe the president should be allowed to override Congress to such a degree.
“I can’t vote to give extraconstitutional powers to the President,” Paul said, to the Bowling Green Daily News Saturday. “I can’t vote to give the President the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress,” he continued. “We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.” He was speaking to the Warren County Republican Party.
In the group are Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine.
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“As a U.S. senator, I cannot justify providing the executive with more ways to bypass Congress,” Tillis wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “As a conservative, I cannot endorse a precedent that I know future left-wing presidents will exploit to advance radical policies that will erode economic and individual freedoms.”
Murkowski said Tuesday she would vote for the resolution, making it clear that the bill will pass the Senate due to support from these Republicans.
Collins said Wednesday she supports a lawsuit challenging Trump’s national emergency, adding that she plans to vote for the congressional resolution.
Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced the resolution Friday to block Trump’s national emergency that could allow him to build a wall on the southern border.
Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro introduced the resolution, which he said will pass the House, as 222 cosponsors have jumped on board. Castro sent out a tweet saying his resolution would terminate Trump’s national emergency. Democrats only need 218 supporters to pass the resolution.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her colleagues Thursday, telling them they need to “move swiftly to pass this bill.”
This comes just days after Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 hopeful, listed of a number of issues for which she would declare a national emergency if elected president, including “climate change, gun violence, student loan debt — right off the top. That’s what we ought to be working on.”
Trump will still have the option to veto the resolution if passed by the Senate.