Congress continues to deal with the fallout of President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration last month over the supposed crisis at the southern border. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced this Wednesday that her chamber would not be taking up Senate GOP legislation that responds to the essentially completely baseless declaration by curtailing the emergency powers of future presidents while leaving Trump’s current move intact.
As she put it:
‘In an effort to avoid voting in favor of the House’s resolution to terminate Trump’s fake emergency, GOP senators are proposing legislation to allow Trump to violate the Constitution *just this once.* The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass.’
The legislation in question would make future emergency declarations expire after thirty days in the absence of Congressional action and has been presented as an alternative to directly voting to cancel Trump’s currently in-place declaration, an issue the Senate will be taking up Thursday. Trump hopes to use subsequent executive power from the declaration to procure billions in funding for his southern border wall.
The Democratic majority House has already voted to cancel the declaration, moving to do so under the power of the same legislation that allowed for it in the first place. Although the Senate remains in the hands of the GOP and even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has expressed support for the president’s declaration, at least when this week began, four Republican Senators indicated plans to vote to strike it down, giving the cancellation the simple majority it needed. Those to express opposition to that level have included Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Rand Paul (Ky.), and Thom Tillis (N.C.) — although The New York Times claimed on Tuesday that Tillis seemed to be “wavering” in his commitment to vote down the declaration.
Trump personally lobbied for Republican Senators to support his national emergency declaration on Twitter this Wednesday, posting:
‘Republican Senators are overthinking tomorrow’s vote on National Emergency. It is very simply Border Security/No Crime – Should not be thought of any other way. We have a MAJOR NATIONAL EMERGENCY at our Border and the People of our Country know it very well!’
Either way, the cancellation is unlikely to make it through, because it also has to be approved by the president and he’s unsurprisingly pledged to veto the measure. Neither Congressional chamber have a two-thirds, veto-proof majority in favor of the cancellation.
All hope is far from lost for those against the proclamation, however. The move quickly faced a number of lawsuits, including one with a coalition of 16 states led by California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra against the Trump administration.
The declaration has essentially no basis in reality. Confronted with the facts of at least comparatively low crime associated with the southern border and undocumented immigration during his press conference announcing his national emergency declaration, Trump claimed there are vast unreported criminal networks among undocumented immigrants, singling them out with no tangible basis other than their skin color.
Still, Trump remains undeterred. In his recent budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year, he asked for a whopping $8.6 billion for his long-sought southern border wall blocking off Mexico, which there is no indication whatsoever Congress will actually give him.
Check out Twitter’s response…
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