The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution to “terminate” the national emergency President Trump declared earlier this month to secure funding for a border wall. The bill’s passage was expected, as 230 lawmakers, including one Republican, co-sponsored it before it was brought up for a vote. The measure ultimately passed by a vote of 245-182.
13 REPUBLICANS who voted to block Trump:
— Herrera Beutler
— Johnson (SD)
— Rooney (FL)
— Walden https://t.co/dSHp5V6r9q
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) February 26, 2019
“If Congress lets Trump’s emergency declaration stand, this President and future presidents will come back for more,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), who introduced the bill, tweeted on Monday. “And if the border wall is a national “emergency” under this law, how am I supposed to tell a future President that opioid and gun deaths are not? Or climate change?”
Attention will now turn to the Senate, which the National Emergencies Act of 1976 stipulates must bring the bill up for a vote within 18 days of its passage in the House. Though Republicans hold a 53-47 advantage in the Senate, several prominent GOP lawmakers have derided Trump’s attempt to make an end run around Congress to build a border wall. Some have even signaled that they will break with Trump and vote in favor of the resolution. On Monday night, the Washington Post published an op-ed from Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who explained that while he supports the president’s vision on border security, he does not support the move to declare a national emergency and will vote in favor of the resolution to stop it. “I cannot justify providing the executive with more ways to bypass Congress,” he wrote. “As a conservative, I cannot endorse a precedent that I know future left-wing presidents will exploit.”
Last week, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she will support the bill if it is “clean.” Considering the resolution passed by the House on Tuesday is less than 80 words long and calls only for Trump’s national emergency declaration to be “terminated,” it’s probably safe to assume to that she will vote for it. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will join her Republican colleagues. After saying on Monday that she would “likely” vote for the resolution, she removed any doubt on Tuesday. “I will be voting yes on the resolution of disapproval,” she told reporters.
Senator Murkowski to reporters just now re: National emergency deceleration: “I will be voting yes on the resolution of disapproval.”
— Alan He (@alanhe) February 26, 2019
If Sens. Tillis, Collins and Murkowski all vote in favor of the resolution, one more senator will still need to support it for it to pass the Senate. If it makes it through, Trump will likely still attempt to scuttle it. Though a number of other Republicans have said publicly that they oppose the national emergency declaration, there’s no guarantee any of them will vote against the president. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who at one point opposed the executive action, is now saying that he will oppose the resolution terminating it. Cornyn is up for re-election in 2020 and was recently endorsed on Twitter by Trump.
Following up on this tweet: John Cornyn, who was loudly warning Trump not to issue this emergency declaration right up until the announcement, is voting to uphold it per @ChadPergram. https://t.co/drbPG9BI4w
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) February 26, 2019
Again, even if the resolution is able to make it through both the House and the Senate, it would not result in any real action. Unless it passes by a two-thirds supermajority both chambers, the bill will be subject to a veto from the president. On Tuesday, the Trump administration released a statement informing lawmakers know that the president isn’t likely to sign off on the bill. “The Administration strongly opposes H.J. Res. 46,” the statement read. “The current situation at the Southern Border presents a humanitarian and security crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency.”
In announcing the declaration earlier this month, Trump essentially admitted this was not the case. “I didn’t have to do this,” he said, explaining that he simply wanted to build the wall fast rather than doing it over a longer period of time.
White House threatens to veto the resolution to terminate Trump's national emergency declaration to build a wall without congressional approval. pic.twitter.com/k2HUabKkzK
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 26, 2019
Despite the impending veto, the resolution passing both the House and the Senate would mark the most demonstrative bipartisan rebuke of Trump’s authority to date. “This is the most consequential vote that we’ve taken in regards to the balance of power between the President and Congress, I think, in decades,” Rep. Castro said before the House passed the resolution.