President Trump has never been forced to take up the veto pen and send legislation back to Congress, but he may be forced to do just that on a pair of bills that a Republican-majority in the Senate could send him.
After the Pelosi-led House took up a vote on ending Trump’s national emergency declaration, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is tasked with taking up the bill and coaxing Republican senators to back it. But, its fate is still uncertain as some Republican members have already announced they would be joining their Democratic colleagues to end the national emergency.
President Donald Trump invited some Senate Republicans to the White House on Wednesday afternoon for a two-hour conversation about trade. But the president couldn’t quite get the looming GOP rebuke of his national emergency declaration off his mind.
“He would like for us to vote against the [resolution]. But he understands and respects that senators may have different opinions,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who has yet to announce his position but has repeatedly griped about the president’s end run around Congress.
“There’s a border crisis and we have to deal with it. But I still have my constitutional concern,” he said.
On the border resolution in particular, Trump has painted the vote as Republicans either standing with him on the border wall or supporting Democrats. But Senate Republicans claim the double-barreled veto fights, on legislation to curtail the U.S. role in Yemen’s civil war and block Trump’s national emergency declaration on the southern border, aren’t intended to be a personal condemnation of Trump.
The White House has sent mixed and, at times, dueling messages about how it will handle an emboldened Republican Conference increasingly willing to defy the president.
The two votes could be seen as a way to measure how unified Republicans are in the Senate and whether they still are standing united with President Trump.
“The president himself has told allies that he does not want to be ’embarrassed’ by a Senate vote on the national emergency resolution that garners over 60 votes and that he’s content to sign a veto on his signature campaign issue,” Politico adds.
Trump also took to Twitter to confirm that he would veto the measures, should they pass.
“A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction). I am prepared to veto, if necessary,” Trump tweeted. “The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!”
Some Republicans expressed they would be open to a one-time pass option where they would vote against the measure to end the national emergency, but would also vote in favor of a new bill which would limit the president’s ability to authorize national emergencies in the future.
But, as the Washington Examiner reports, Pelosi said she would block such an option from receiving a vote in her chamber.
“Republican Senators are proposing new legislation to allow the president to violate the Constitution just this once in order to give themselves cover,” Pelosi said Wednesday. “The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass.”
From the report:
Senate Republicans are looking for a way to back Trump’s spending move while at the same time asserting congressional control over the spending process.
They were seeking a trade-off with the White House: In exchange for their support in this instance, Trump would agree to sign a bill reining in the National Emergencies Act.
Pelosi’s refusal to consider such a measure essentially dashes that plan.
At least four Senate Republicans are poised to join Democrats Thursday in voting to revoke Trump’s national emergency declaration.