President Donald Trump’s national emergency looks likely to be cancelled by the Senate. Enough Republican senators have now publicly declared their opposition to the emergency and will vote with the Democrats to reverse Trump’s declaration.
Senator Rand Paul’s announcement that he would support the Democrats’ resolution has been decisive. Paul’s opposition to Trump’s national emergency has made him the fourth GOP senator to come out against what some Republicans see as executive overreach.
The three other Republicans – Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Thom Tillis – combined with the 47 Senate Democrats, have enough votes to pass the resolution of disapproval. The resolution requires just 51 votes to pass and is filibuster proof.
However, Trump will likely veto the resolution. Democrats don’t have the votes in the Senate to override a presidential veto, despite support from four Republicans. If Trump chooses to exercise veto power, the matter will be decided in the courts.
The President declared the national emergency in an effort to build a wall along the southern border. This has not yet started and there are serious questions about the administration’s ability to construct one.
“Without question, the president’s order for more wall money contradicts the will of Congress and will, in all likelihood, be struck down by the Supreme Court,” Senator Paul wrote in a Fox News op-ed, justifying his decision. Paul also believes that Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, both Trump appointees, could side with Congress on the issue.
President Trump will react badly to a defeat in the Republican-controlled Senate and will almost certainly veto the resolution and lash out at any Republicans who vote with the Democrats. The fate of the national emergency will rest with the Supreme Court, where a conservative majority may yet frustrate the administration’s agenda.