GOP Senators ‘Overthinking’ Vote on Our ‘MAJOR NATIONAL EMERGENCY’

US President Donald Trump

White House tries to avert Senate defeat on border emergency

That would give Republicans who are uneasy about the constitutionality of the February 15 declaration - yet nervous about publicly rebuking Trump - some political cover to side with the president.

Some Democrats don't want to wait until 2020 to oust President Trump, but with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now coming out against impeachment, they're not sure what comes next. Inside a private luncheon with other Republican senators after the Pence gathering, Tillis made the case that if the White House agreed to some form of Lee's legislation, that would mean a president would be giving up some of his executive powers - a rarity, according to a person briefed on the closed-door discussion. The Senate is also poised to vote on Wednesday on ending USA support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen ― legislation that the White House has threatened to veto. If it stands, the declaration would let Trump divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build border barriers, even though Congress had voted to limit him to less than $1.4 billion for barrier construction in the budget. Congress has never before voted to overturn a president's emergency declaration.

The Senate's 47-member Democratic caucus is unified in support of the disapproval resolution, so just four Republican defections would give the measure the majority needed to pass.

Republican senators and the White House hatched a plan Tuesday to try and push an alternative bill to the disapproval resolution now before the upper chamber of Congress. "While we have impeachment authority, we need to be very cognizant of what the American people believe, and I agree with the speaker, that the probability of success is low, and the distraction would be major". Congress can vote to block an emergency declaration, but the two-thirds majorities required to overcome presidential vetoes make it hard for lawmakers to prevail.

The White House has been trying to avert defeat. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that tries to claw back some emergency powers to Congress and whether the White House endorses some version of it.

Brown said he doesn't object to finding a "long term answer", to keep presidents from declaring emergencies in non-emergency situations, but said he didn't know of any cases where past presidents abused the law.

The proposal would not affect the current emergency declaration at the border but would for future declarations, including those issued by Trump.

The senator cautioned that Trump's position may still change - "It is only Wednesday, and it is the Trump administration".

Lee had introduced a second measure that would end future emergency declarations after 30 days unless Congress votes to extend them.

The strongest chance of blocking Trump's border emergency is likely several lawsuits filed by Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and others.

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