Enough turncoat Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues the other day in voting to block President Trump’s border emergency declaration. While President Trump probably had two choice words for those who voted against him, he replied simply with one – tweeting “VETO” after the vote. This will be the first veto of his presidency.
The White House said Trump likely would issue the veto on March 15.
According to Fox News, the measure passed 59-41 as a dozen Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the resolution, despite White House efforts to keep the GOP united on the issue of border security. Those GOP members who backed the resolution cited concerns about the expansion of presidential powers.
Not surprisingly one of those Republican’s was Mitt Romney. “I’m going to be voting in favor of the resolution of disapproval,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters ahead of the vote. “This is a constitutional question, it’s a question of the balance of power that is core to our constitution.”
“This is not about the president or border security, in fact, I support border security, I support a barrier,” he said.
Other Republicans Who Parted With Trump on Border Security
In the run-up to the vote, the Trump administration was urging the GOP not to vote against the president. Speaking on “Fox and Friends” Vice President Mike Pence said, “A vote against the president’s national emergency declaration is a vote to deny the humanitarian and security crisis that’s happening at our southern border. So we’re urging every member of the Senate set politics aside to recognize that we have a crisis.”
However, given the results of the vote, clearly there were those who did not get the message. You could add these names to the growing list of RINOs who do not support the president, and remember them when it comes time for primary challenges. The other Republicans who voted to oppose the declaration were Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., had said he would oppose the declaration but reversed course on the Senate floor, saying that he was “sympathetic” to Trump’s push to deal with the crisis at the border.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., before the vote, said he “takes his hat off” to Republicans voting with Democrats, while accusing Trump of “going around Congress” with the declaration.
“This is a momentous day,” he said, declaring that the balance of power was shifting back toward Congress.
It is all pointless political theater in any case, as the measure heads next to Trump’s desk, having previously passed the House. However, Trump plans to veto, and it’s unlikely the House and Senate could muster the required two-thirds majority to override his first use of his veto powers.