As expected, the Senate voted 59-41 on a resolution Thursday blocking President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border. While only four GOP votes were needed, what wasn’t expected is the number who aligned with Democrats.
Joining all 45 Democrats and the two independent senator’s who caucus with them –Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Angus King, I-Maine — in rebuking the president were 12 Republican senators.
The list of defectors included the usual moderate Republican suspects, who appear to have a new member among their ranks in Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and a few of the party’s more conservative senators — six of the lawmakers are on the Appropriations Committee.
Senate voted, 59-41, on resolution that would terminate Trump's national emergency declaration
GOP senators in favor:
— K Tully-McManus (@ktullymcmanus) March 14, 2019
And to be clear, their bravery only goes so far, as only one of the 12 GOP senators is up for reelection in 2020, Maine Sen. Susan Collins. As the last Republican lawmaker in New England, opposing Trump is likely to help her cause.
If there was a surprise Thursday, it was Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.,, who authored an op-ed in The Washington Post two weeks ago opposing the emergency declaration, only to flip at the last minute and vote against the resolution.
As you might guess, he is up for reelection in 2020 in a state Trump won by 3.6% of the vote — all of which suggests Tillis did some polling and didn’t like what he saw.
After suddenly determining that there is a “crisis at the border,” Tillis took to the Senate floor to say, “I will be voting against the resolution of disapproval,” according to The Hill.
With the measure passing in the Democrat-controlled House last month in a 245–182 vote, with 13 Republican defections, the legislation will now go to Trump’s desk for an anticipated veto.
President Trump took to Twitter after the vote to say he will veto the resolution.
“I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country. I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!” he tweeted.
I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country. I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019
It will take two-thirds of the vote in both chambers to override the president’s likely veto, which would be the first of his presidency.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Trump should consider himself the victor, according to The Hill.
“The House is going to sustain his veto, so I think he ought to accept that as a win,” he said.
Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, said in a tweet that the president is within his rights and should veto the resolution.
“We MUST secure our southern border. [Trump] campaigned on it, and he is within his full legal authority to declare a national emergency. This crisis can’t be ignored, and President Trump is right to veto this bill and protect America,” she tweeted.
We MUST secure our southern border. @realDonaldTrump campaigned on it, and he is within his full legal authority to declare a national emergency.
This crisis can’t be ignored, and President Trump is right to veto this bill and protect America.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) March 14, 2019
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took to Twitter to offer an explanation of his vote for the resolution, pointing to the Constitution — never mind that nationally syndicated talk radio host Mark Levin, a constitutional scholar, said on Twitter recently: “Phony constitutionalist Rand Paul. Pathetic.”
“I stand with President Trump on the need for a border wall and stronger border security, but the Constitution clearly states that money cannot be spent unless Congress has passed a law to do so,” Paul tweeted Thursday.
I stand with President Trump on the need for a border wall and stronger border security, but the Constitution clearly states that money cannot be spent unless Congress has passed a law to do so. https://t.co/BZLfS3A9Pu
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 14, 2019
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, did not offer an explanation on his Twitter feed, which is all but consumed with events in Venezuela.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, in a Senate floor speech, said his vote for the resolution “is not about the president,” according to KSL-TV.
“This isn’t about my disagreement with or disapproval of the president or his approach to border security or his approach to build a barrier along our southern border. I think all those things need to happen,” Lee said.
“But this law, Mr. President, is wrong. It’s not President Trump’s fault. It Congress’.”
Either way, the anti-Trump media was all over the repudiation, falsely interpreting it as a rejection of President Trump.
President Trump got walloped for the second time in 24 hours by the Senate. In a stunning repudiation of the president, 12 Republican senators crossed party lines to vote with Democrats https://t.co/nlY9Qcpq63
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) March 14, 2019
But former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had a suggested nickname for those who opted to align with the Democrats: “Dirty Dozen.”
12 GOP Senators voted w/ Schumer, Durbin, and the Dems & against @realDonaldTrump and protecting Americans. Some really disappoint me. I guess we can call them the "Dirty Dozen?" https://t.co/f5MeAI8Wym
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) March 14, 2019