Former GOP lawmakers are urging Republican lawmakers in Congress to push back on Trump’s national emergency declaration. In a letter that was published by Politico, more than two dozen former GOP members of Congress noted that it’s the duty of every elected official to put the constitution above everything else. The list includes five former Republican Senators and 19 former GOP members of the House. They all served at separate times between 1967 and 2013.
The letter urged GOP members in Congress to pass a resolution to terminate the emergency. It noted that lack of opposition to this will more or less surrender the power of Congress to the president. If such a precedent is set, it will be hard to stop. President Trump declared the emergency early this month after he failed to negotiate a funding deal for his border wall. The president signed a spending bill without wall money before the declaration in order to avoid a government shutdown.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week to block the declaration. There are a few Republican lawmakers who have said they will back this resolution. Five legal challenges have already been filed in various courts across the US too. California, for instance, is suing the administration on behalf of a number of other states in an effort to prevent the president from going through with the declaration.
According to the former GOP members, the declaration allows the president to circumvent congressional power without any due course. Some Democrats have also wondered why the president has failed to get the legislative approval needed to fund the wall when the GOP controlled all chambers of Congress. Trump has said a few times that there’s a serious “humanitarian crisis” at the border and only a wall can solve it.
But some see this as a political play ahead of the 2020 elections. After all, the wall was one of Trump’s biggest promises to his base. At one point the President even said that Mexico will pay for the wall only to change his position later. Democrats who control the House have made it clear that they don’t intend to approve funding for the wall. Although some funding was offered on border security in the spending bill signed recently by Trump, the amount allocated was on general border security. It was also way lower than the $5.7 billion that the White House was asking for.
If the House passes the termination resolution, the bill will then go to the Senate. It’s expected that the House with a Democratic majority will pass the resolution. The Senate where Republicans have control will be the biggest challenge. Although there are a few GOP senators who have expressed some reservations, it’s going to be very hard to sway enough votes to support the resolution. The president still has the power to veto the bill if it doesn’t pass with a super majority. Trump has already made it clear that he will veto it if it passes in the Senate. It’s definitely going to be a showdown in Washington.