Thursday, 24 October, 2019

GOP plan would limit power to declare emergency

Romney Lee will vote to override President Trump’s emergency declaration at the border White House tries to avert Senate defeat on border emergency
Patty Aguilar | 13 March, 2019, 20:57

Several GOP senators who expressed concern about the declaration on constitutional grounds met privately with Vice President Mike Pence about the matter on Tuesday, including Sens.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday the House of Representatives will not consider a Republican bill to amend a federal national emergencies law after President Donald Trump used the declaration in a bid to get money for his long-promised border wall.

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. "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". Since the Democratic-run House voted last month to block Trump, Senate passage would send the resolution to the White House, where it would face a certain veto.

As the White House and GOP senators sought a compromise on curbing a president's power to unilaterally declare such emergencies in the future, Pelosi said Wednesday that the House would not take up that legislation if it passed the Senate.

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. Its fate is unclear.

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Opposition by a few Republican senators to President Donald Trump's emergency declaration at the U.S. -Mexico border appears to be softening.

Under the emergency declaration that Trump signed on February 15, he would take money from other federal programs to build the barrier.

Trump was referring to an interview published Monday in the Washington Post Magazine in which Pelosi, who returned to power after Democrats won decisively in last year's midterms, said, "I'm not for impeachment". It would apply to future emergencies, not Trump's current border emergency.

Republicans control the Senate 53-47, meaning that four GOP defections would be enough to send the resolution blocking Trump's border emergency to the White House.

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