Published: Wed, February 27, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Tillis backs Trump on border enforcement. Why he won’t support emergency declaration

Tillis backs Trump on border enforcement. Why he won’t support emergency declaration

Thom Tillis says he'll vote to block President Donald Trump's emergency declaration at the border with Mexico, becoming the second Senate Republican to do so.

The House agreed to the resolution 245-182, with 13 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting for the legislation to rescind Trump's declaration.

Some conservatives are concerned that a measure to overturn Trump's declaration will also pass in the Republican-controlled Senate because multiple Senate Republicans have defected.

Castro said he is confident supporters of the resolution can meet that threshold in the Senate but stopped short of predicting the required 67 votes to override a veto in the Republican-led chamber. Instead, he said, it is an issue of separation of powers, and he warned Republicans not to "look the other way" because the same tactic could be used by a Democratic president in the future.

In advance of the vote, House Democrats began circulating a list of just over 400 military construction projects that could be affected, with an average cost for each of the projects at around $40 million. But GOP leaders are urging their members to oppose the resolution, aiming to keep the final tally low enough to demonstrate that Congress would be unable to overturn a veto.

"The President's act is lawless", Pelosi said.

Donald Trump's national emergency declaration triggered protests throughout the United States.

"When you see the vote today, there will be nowhere near the votes to override a veto", US Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

So far, three - Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of ME, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina - have already indicated they will vote to block Mr Trump's order.

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"I personally couldn't handicap the outcome at this point", McConnell said of the vote on the House resolution.

"We are aware of no emergency that remotely justifies such a step", wrote 58 former senior national security officials, including Republican Chuck Hagel, a former Nebraska senator and defense secretary.

"Without strong borders, we don't have a country - and the voters are on board with us", he wrote.

Several other Republicans were critical of Trump's decision to declare an emergency, arguing it set a unsafe precedent that challenged Congress's power of the purse.

So far, two Republican senators have said they will vote for the resolution while another has said she is likely to support it but has not committed to doing so.

The president has called the situation at the southern border a "crisis" and on 15 February, issued a declaration of emergency in order to bypass Congress and build a wall with military funding.

The resolution's fate is less clear in the U.S. Senate, which is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans, though some Republicans have expressed concern about his declaration. "Don't fall into the Democrats "trap" of Open Borders and Crime!"

In an 11-page letter, former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and John Kerry, both Democrats, along with former Republican Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and others, said there was no documented emergency at the USA border with Mexico.

The battle in Congress is the latest chapter in a long-running war between Trump and Democrats over border security, immigration policy and the "great, great wall" that Trump has pledged to build since becoming a presidential candidate.

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