As if President Trump wasn’t having enough trouble trying to get his border security plans past the Democrats, he’s now facing opposition from some members of his own party, too. Twelve Republican senators sided with the opposition recently, voting to revoke the president’s declaration of a national emergency on the Mexican border. It’s an embarrassment to Trump, but it doesn’t look like it will actually achieve anything concrete. What it might do is deepen splits in the GOP and embolden the other side. As the Democrats swing increasingly to the left, that’s a grossly irresponsible thing to do.
Following obstructionist tactics by Democrats in Congress, who refused to release the funding needed to secure our border with Mexico, President Trump had to resort to declaring a national emergency. This lets him divert the money from military construction projects and get the wall built, making a neat end-run around Congress in the process. Predictably, though angry Democrats are trying to stop him.
- Although the president can declare a national emergency, Congress has the power to revoke it, but there’s a pretty high bar. If Congress tries to revoke on a simple majority the president can simply veto their efforts. Therefore it needs a veto-proof two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate.
- The Democrats now have a majority in the House, but it’s nowhere near two-thirds. Republicans still have the majority in the Senate.
- The main effect of the recent rebellion is to spotlight differences inside the GOP and make their control of the Senate look less secure. Even with the defections of 12 Republican senators to the Democrat side of this issue, a veto-proof majority wasn’t achieved — and that’s unlikely to change.
- From the president’s point of view, the most annoying thing is that the turncoats aren’t even opposed to the wall, in general — they just don’t think declaring an emergency is the right way to get it built.
- Unless something changes dramatically and the state of emergency can be revoked, the wall is going to get built. The money’s now available and work has already started in several places. Continued obstructionism will just cost money, interfere with the business of government and convince many Americans that their political classes are just grandstanding clowns.
- President Trump harshly criticized the vote, calling it a “…Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs and Trafficking in our Country.”