WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul joins other Republican senators in voting against President Trump’s national emergency declaration in a House resolution expected to take place later this month.
- Rand says that since Congress has not approved of more money to be used for the border wall, it would be ‘dangerous’ to ignore those checks and balances.
- Rand’s vote will mean the resolution might pass and prompt the president to veto it.
As the Senate prepares to cast their votes later this month on the House resolution to end Trump’s emergency declaration, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has decided to throw in his vote in support of the resolution, joining three other Senate Republicans who have already declared to vote against Trump’s actions.
The fact that Republicans hold 53 Senate seats, their support would likely mean the resolution will pass with support from both parties and force Trump to exercise his first veto.
Speaking to Republican lawmakers and supporters during a Saturday dinner at Western Kentucky University, Paul, a close ally of Trump, said that he cannot vote to allow the president to spend money that hasn’t been allocated 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,” Paul said.
Only 13 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to abort Trump’s emergency declaration. The Democratic-controlled House voted 245-182 to mandate the resolution.
While other senators have misgivings about Trump’s declaration, they haven’t announced yet how they’ll vote, like Senators Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Now that the balance of votes has already pointed against the president, hopefully, Republicans may be more willing to express their objections against the emergency declaration.
In a statement last week, Senator Alexander said that although he supports the president’s moves on border security, he disapproves of the way Trump has been advised to do it.
“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,” he further added.
According to the National Emergencies Act of 1976, the Senate is required to speed up the resolution and cannot delay the vote. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. told reporters that Senate is expected to vote before March 18.
Trump declared a national emergency in February following Congress’ decision to appropriate only a fraction of the money he had asked for to fund the border wall.