Published: Tue, March 05, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

US Senate set to reject Trump's emergency declaration

US Senate set to reject Trump's emergency declaration

The Republican-led U.S. Senate is set to reject the national emergency Donald Trump declared to build his Mexico border wall, likely forcing the U.S. president's first veto, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.

Paul said in a speech Saturday at the Southern Kentucky Lincoln Day Dinner that he "can't vote to give extra-Constitutional powers to the president", the Bowling Green (Ky.) Daily News reported.

By doing this, Congress is implicitly arguing that the situation in Burundi, Myanmar, Venezuela, Nicaragua or Ukraine represents a threat to the USA worthy of a national emergency - but the security of the United States border with Mexico does not. "If we take away those checks and balances, it's a unsafe thing", Paul suggested, according to the paper.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has announced that he will vote for the resolution, which is also being supported by other Republicans who include Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) in opposing Trump's move.

Trump declared a national emergency last month in an effort to access billions of dollars that Congress refused to appropriate in order to see through his campaign promise of a wall along the southern USA border.

According to Harvard professor John Yoo, Trump has the power to declare an emergency at the border, especially because Congress in 2006 passed a law approved by Democrats and Republicans authorizing the construction of a wall.

McConnell told reporters that he had hoped Trump "wouldn't take that particular path" of declaring a national emergency. In the Senate, 20 Republican lawmakers would need to join the Democrats to reach the 67 threshold.

Assuming all 47 Democrats and their independent allies go against Trump, that would give opponents of the emergency declaration 51 votes - and the majority needed. "There has never been an instance where a president has asked for funding, Congress refused it, and the president then used the National Emergencies Act to justify spending the money anyway".

People work on the U.S. - Mexico border wall in El Paso, Texas, on February 12, 2019. In recent months, Paul has made a concerted effort to bend the president's ear on foreign policy and has praised Trump's efforts at ending America's decades-long conflicts in the Middle East-though he also broke with the White House by voting against the confirmation of Attorney General William Barr.

The President and his administration have argued that there's a "crisis" on the southern border, claiming there's an "invasion" of drugs and undocumented immigrants. It puts the Republicans in Congress in bind.

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