This article is written from a Democratic point of view.
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Donald Trump could avoid the congressional rebuke coming his way, if only he would rescind the “state of emergency” which he has declared, advises Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Paul is one of at least four Republican senators who have publicly said that they will vote for the resolution of disapproval which will soon come to the Senate floor.
Trump last month declared a “state of emergency,” as a means to bypass Congress and essentially raid the military budget in order to build the border wall he has long wanted.
Democrats, and some Republicans, have objected to that move on constitutional grounds, as a violation of the principles of separation of powers and the power of the purse.
“In fact, the Constitution says only Congress can make law and only by law can you take money out of the Treasury and appropriation to an act of Congress,” Paul says.
The Democratic-controlled House responded by passing a resolution of disapproval. Because the resolution is privileged, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must bring it to a vote.
“I think there will be probably 10 Republicans, at least six beyond the four that are going to vote for it, have told me they will,” Paul says. “It could be higher than that. What I keep telling them is if we can get to a high enough number maybe someone could run over to the White House and say, ‘Hey, this could be worse.’ This could be 65, this could be 67. I know that’s very optimistic. I might only be 57 to 60, but that’s still a lot of dissent and rebuke that could be avoided if the president would simply rescind the emergency part.”
Paul’s home-state colleague, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, admits that he had advised Trump not to go the route of declaring a “state of emergency,” and that the issue has been a source of debate within the Senate Republicans.
“I don’t personally think there is a constitutional issue. Some have raised questions about the authorization itself. I don’t have a solution to how this ultimately ends other than a prediction that at the end of the day, the president in all likelihood is going to get a measure that he will veto, and will almost certainly be sustained, the veto will be sustained in the House,” McConnell says.