Today, in a clear rebuke of President Donald Trump’s executive overreach, the Senate voted 59-41 to join the House of Representatives in voting to pass a joint resolution terminating Trump’s national emergency declaration that allows him to divert approximately $7 billion in federal funds—that were appropriated by Congress for other purposes—towards constructing additional miles of fencing and barriers on the southern U.S. border.
The resolution is minimally worded, lacking any commentary about the bad faith with which the president declared his national emergency. It simply states that the emergency is “hereby terminated” under the applicable provisions of the National Emergencies Act.
The 13 House Republicans and 12 Senate Republicans who joined all voting Democrats in supporting the resolution that rejects Trump’s false emergency and outrageous power grab—deserve credit for defending the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. The rest of the Republican caucus voted to cede Congress’s power of the purse to the executive branch.
Despite the strong statement sent by Congress, President Trump has already promised to use the first veto of his presidency on the resolution, allowing the national emergency to stay in place. Congress could override the veto if it votes again on the resolution and a two-thirds majority of both houses vote in favor of it—and they should try—but little chance exists of reaching that threshold. Instead, most Republicans will acquiesce to Trump’s latest push to erode Constitutional norms.
For more background on Trump’s national emergency declaration visit the EPI blog: Trump’s national emergency declaration over the border wall is dangerous and not justified by the facts.