Pelosi blocks vote on National Emergencies Act overhaul

Geraldine Edwards
March 14, 2019

Portman is among a group of Republicans who support Trump's border security measures, but worry the emergency declaration he made to secure money to build a wall on the nation's southern border sets a bad precedent because Congress is supposed to make funding decisions. John Kennedy, R-La., recalling a favorite refrain of Monday Night Football announcers when a game was out of reach.

The White House has been trying to avert defeat.

But approval of the resolution would highlight a clash in which Trump was being forced to protect his signature campaign promise by vetoing legislation sent to him by a Republican-led Senate.

Four other Republican senators have publicly expressed reservations about the emergency declaration, anxious that a Democratic president could someday point to Trump's action to justify declarations of their own on matters the GOP opposes.

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"Republican Senators are proposing new legislation to allow the President to violate the Constitution just this once in order to give themselves cover", Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement.

As the White House and GOP senators sought a compromise on curbing a president's power to unilaterally declare such emergencies in the future, Pelosi said Wednesday that the House would not take up that legislation if it passed the Senate.

"They are looking for an opportunity to look like they're independent, but they're not addressing this issue right now of the President's emergency", said Brown. The official was not authorized to publicly private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Lee's announcement comes as a Morning Consult/Politico report comes out which suggests that almost three-quarters of Republican voters would more likely vote for a candidate if they backed Trump's national emergency on the border. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rand Paul of Kentucky - somewhere between seven and 15 Republicans remain conflicted on the disapproval resolution, according to a senior Republican aide familiar with the discussions. Congress can vote to block a declaration, but the two-thirds majorities required to overcome presidential vetoes make it hard for lawmakers to prevail.

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The speaker had previously taken a cautious tone when discussing possibly impeaching the president - a path widely viewed as politically fraught, though its supporters say with so few examples in American history it remains to be seen how a new trial would play out in the public.

A vote on Lee's plan was expected after Congress returns from a recess later this month. "Let's tell the president he cannot use his overreaching power to declare an emergency when he couldn't get Congress to do what he wanted".

If passed into law, Lee's bill could impact Trump's national border emergency in the future, since ongoing national emergency declarations must be reaffirmed annually. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that tries to claw back some emergency powers to Congress and whether the White House endorses some version of it.

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