Well, it looks like Donald Trump will have to resort to a veto in order to move ahead with his emergency order.
On Tuesday, when the House voted to block the president’s ill-conceived border declaration, we noted that with Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins andall set to vote with Democrats, the stage was set for the Senate to pass a resolution that would force Trump’s hand.
“It is my responsibility to be a steward of the Article I branch, to preserve the separation of powers and to curb the kind of executive overreach that Congress has allowed to fester for the better part of the past century”, Tillis wrote in an Op-Ed for the Washington Post. “I stood by that principle during the Obama administration, and I stand by it now”, he added.
Fast forward to Sunday and Rand Paul appears to have sealed the deal. According to the Bowling Green Daily news, Paul said the following at the Southern Kentucky Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday:
I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress. We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.
With Paul on board and Collins, Murkowski and Tillis already committed, Democrats have what they need to pass the measure and force Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency.
This is an embarrassing moment for the White House and it represents a stinging rebuke coming as it does just days after Trump said the following on Twitter:
I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security. Be strong and smart. Don’t fall into the Democrats trap of Open Borders and Crime!
It also comes hot the heels of criticism from former GOP lawmakers and high profile national security personnel, all of whom implored Congress to block Trump’s declaration in sharply worded open letters less than a week ago.
“Our oath is to put the country and its Constitution above everything, including party politics or loyalty to a president”, the former Republican representatives wrote last Monday.
The Paul news also comes on a day when House Republican Justin Amash (who lambasted his GOP colleagues in a tweet decrying Trump’s powergrab last month) showed up on CNN to deliver the following message:
You can expect a furious Trump to lash out at party defectors, who he’ll doubtlessly claim don’t care about crime and can henceforth be lumped in with members of Congress who “hate America.”