Pence meets with Republican senators to quell revolt on emergency declaration

Hugh Fox
March 14, 2019

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) said, "One could imagine a President who committed a felony and the House simply decided, for the good of the country, it wasn't an important felony, it was just a mistake, it's something we can deal with after a presidential term".

That's certainly possible. But given that Congressional Republicans largely lack the political will to check Trump's current invocation of national emergency powers (powers many of them think the president shouldn't have in the first place), one wonders if they'll be more willing to check future excesses that still technically conform to the letter of the law.

Lee told a reporter for The Hill that he'll vote for the disapproval resolution.

On Tuesday, Lee sponsored the Article ONE Act, which would limit the president's authority to declare for only 30 days unless Congress voted to extend the emergency.

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"After Pelosi's comments, Republicans countered, asking why Democrats would have issued 81 document requests to people associated with President Trump if they're not already planning on impeachment". Unfortunately, it appears the bill does not have an immediate path forward, so I will be voting to terminate the latest emergency declaration.

Trump declared the national emergency at the southern border in order to secure funds without congressional approval to build a border wall. In the 100-seat Senate, votes from at least four Republicans are needed to pass the measure, along with all 45 Democrats and two independents. "No, I don't think he's fit to be president of the United States".

President Trump gave a shout-out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday - for saying she does not support impeaching him - but he did not address her contention that he is unfit for office. He also said in a tweet that Republican senators should vote for "Border Security/No Crime". Tillis faces a potentially tough re-election fight next year. All five of these lawmakers have indicated varying levels of concern with the president's emergency declaration.

Congress does not have the votes to override Trump's veto.

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An administration official said the White House is skeptical there will be enough votes to head off a Senate defeat and is reluctant to back limits on future declarations unless a victory on the resolution is assured.

His Wednesday schedule, released to the press, shows he is set to receive a series of policy briefings followed by a meeting with Republican senators and a photo with the new White House interns. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Kentucky's Rand Paul.

"Are we going to say, anytime a president can't get his way with Congress, he can declare an emergency and Congress will meekly shrug its shoulders?" Democrats noted that America's border deficiencies have been debated for decades, and in making the declaration, Trump himself said he "didn't have to do it".

"Every single Democrat running for president should be made to answer: do they agree with the Speaker who stands in opposition to baseless impeachment charges, or will they risk fracturing the country by bowing to the radical elements in their party who want to disenfranchise the American people and overturn the legitimate and lawful result of the last election?"

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