Senate Debates Emergency Funds Border Wall Bill, Trump Vows to Veto if Not Passed

[Amanda Becker, Richard Cowan | Reuters] Washington – The U.S. Senate began debating a proposal on Thursday to terminate President Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency at the southern border, with enough Republicans indicating they would support the measure for it to pass, with Trump vowing a veto.

Passage of the legislation would mark the second Senate rebuke of the president in two days. Senators on Wednesday approved a resolution seeking to end U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the war in Yemen, rejecting Trump’s policy toward the kingdom.

During the first two years of his term, the Republican-led Congress mostly accommodated Trump, who has not yet used his veto pen. That could change now in response to Trump making the emergency declaration as an alternative way to get billions of dollars in funding for the wall after Congress turned him down. 

At least seven Republican senators have now said they back the measure passed in February by the U.S. House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats. At least four Republicans are needed to pass it in the 100-seat Senate, along with all 45 Democrats and two independents. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his fellow Republicans to defeat the measure but Senators Mitt Romney and Lamar Alexander announced that they would vote the opposite, becoming the latest Republicans to express defiance of Trump. 

“A vote for today’s resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for (Democratic House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi, Crime and the Open Border Democrats!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.

McConnell said Trump was “operating within existing law” and that if senators did not like the powers provided to the president under the National Emergencies Act, “then they should amend it.”

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Amanda Becker and Richard Cowan and originally published at Reuters. Title changed by P&P.]