OPINION: Senate Votes Against National Emergency at the Border
Twelve Senate Republicans aided Senate Democrats in rejecting President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border in a 59-41 Senate decision, according to the New York Times. The House had previously passed the resolution of disapproval. With both chambers of Congress voting against the President’s proclamation, Trump now has to use his first presidential veto. Having framed the vote as a signal of support for the border wall, the congressional vote against the emergency declaration is an embarrassment for Trump.
With some Republicans voting against Trump, political pundits have raised concerns as to whether there is a potential rift developing within the party, reports USA Today. The House override vote scheduled for March 26 will force Republicans to choose between their party and their country. With Trump using his first veto as president, House and Senate Democrats will have to work with their Republican counterparts to obtain the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto.
Taking into account the House and Senate votes against Trump’s national emergency declaration, the two-thirds majority needed for a veto override is unlikely. Therefore, we will likely see the issue brought to the Supreme Court. In this situation, the Supreme Court is likely to override Trump’s veto. With both chambers of Congress voting against Trump’s proclamation, the legislative branch has signaled to the judicial branch that the executive branch is attempting to circumvent Congress to achieve its goals. Since Congress is constitutionally in charge of federal spending, Trump’s national emergency declaration could be seen as an unconstitutional bypass of Congress.
With both chambers of Congress rejecting his national emergency declaration, Trump faces the strongest resistance to his executive power thus far. To make matters worse for the president, the Republican-controlled Senate went against him and approved a resolution to halt U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facing consecutive defeats in the Senate, the coming weeks could represent a turning point for Trump’s presidency as we may see a split within the Republican party.