WASHINGTON – Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney and Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander announced they would vote for the resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s national emergency for border wall funding on Thursday.
“I am seriously concerned that overreach by the Executive Branch is an invitation to further expansion and abuse by future presidents,” Romney said in a statement. “We experienced a similar erosion of congressional authority with President Obama’s unilateral immigration orders — which I strenuously opposed. In the case before us now, where Congress has enacted specific policy, to consent to an emergency declaration would be both inconsistent with my beliefs and contrary to my oath to defend the Constitution.”
Alexander released an op-ed Thursday, echoing Romney’s statement, saying the president should not be able to use such a declaration in which congress rejects.
“This declaration is a dangerous precedent,” Alexander said. “Any appreciation for our structure of government means that no president should be able to use the National Emergencies Act to spend money that Congress refuses to provide.”
Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine were the original group of three, against Trump’s national emergency. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said he will join the three Republicans who have expressed 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.
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Murkowski said she would vote for the resolution, making it clear that the bill will pass the Senate due to support from these Republicans.
Collins said 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 March 1 to block Trump’s national emergency that could allow him to build a wall on the southern border.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her colleagues immediately after, telling them they need to “move swiftly to pass this bill.”
This comes 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.