President Donald Trump is poised for a possible veto showdown with the U.S. Congress after three Republican senators indicated they will vote to disapprove of his national emergency declaration at the U.S. southern border.
Senator Rand Paul became the fourth Republican member of the U.S. Senate to indicate they would vote in favor of a disapproval resolution Sunday, saying in a Fox News op-ed, “I support President Trump,” but “I cannot support the use of emergency powers to get more funding, so I will be voting to disapprove of his declaration when it comes before the Senate.”
Paul is joined by Sens. Susan Collins, Thom Thillis and Lisa Murkowski. Paul’s vote solidifies the passage of the resolution in the chamber, counting all Democratic votes. The resolution also passed the House of Representatives with Democratic support, drawing a limited number of Republican votes. (RELATED: 3 Senate Republicans Are Banding Together To Support Resolution To Terminate Trump’s National Emergency)
Trump issued a plea to Republican Senators on Twitter ahead of the House of Representatives vote, saying:
I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security. Without strong Borders, we don’t have a Country – and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don’t fall into the Democrats “trap” of Open Borders and Crime!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2019
The president, however, told reporters ahead of his Hanoi summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he would “100 percent” veto any disapproval resolution and then warned lawmakers that they would face political consequences for such a vote in an interview with Sean Hannity.
“I really think that Republicans that vote against border security and the wall, I think, you know, I’ve been okay at predicting things. I think they put themselves at great jeopardy,” Trump declared, affirming that he would veto any disapproval resolution.
Neither chamber currently appears to have the necessary two-thirds votes required to over-ride Trump’s veto, though the move is a major rebuke to the president hoping to present a united front. The Senate is required to take up the resolution for a vote within the month.
Two White House officials played down the disapproval resolution’s realistic effect on building the wall, noting that much of the funding that the President is employing is not in jeopardy. Trump will first use congressionally appropriated $1.3 billion, before using forfeited Treasury department funds, and those available to him under drug enforcement authorities.
The officials stressed that only after exhausting these funding sources would the administration turn to the $3.6 billion it will use from the military construction budget for wall funds.