House Dem vets press McConnell on emergency declaration

House Dem vets press McConnell on emergency declaration
© Stefani Reynolds

A group of Democratic House military veterans on Tuesday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet MORE (R-Ky.) to support a resolution overturning President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE's emergency declaration on the southern border.

In a letter to McConnell, Democratic Reps. Ruben GallegoRuben Gallego2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft Harris picks up endorsement from influential lawmaker as support slips Democratic lawmaker: Russia, China benefitting from continued US troop presence in Afghanistan MORE (Ariz.), Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownAssault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question MORE (Md.), Salud CarbajalSalud CarbajalHispanic Democrats: ICE raids designed to distract from Trump ties to Epstein Democrats wary of Trump's 'erratic' approach to Iran WHIP LIST: The 132 House Democrats backing an impeachment inquiry MORE (Calif.), Gil CisnerosGilbert (Gil) Ray CisnerosMORE (Calif.), Ted LieuTed W. LieuTed Lieu congratulates first Asian American cast member on 'Saturday Night Live' Ocasio-Cortez renews impeachment call amid probe involving Trump's Scotland property Oversight panel investigating Air Force crew's stop at Trump property in Scotland MORE (Calif.), Max RoseMax RoseDemocrats bicker over strategy on impeachment Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet House Democrat urges Trump to address online extremism at UN MORE (N.Y.) and Bobby RushBobby Lee RushHouse Democrats blur lines on support for impeachment Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries MORE (Ill.) sharply criticized Trump over reports that the administration plans to use up to $1 billion from Department of Defense military pay and pension accounts to build a border wall.

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"We may have political differences, but we hope you will join us to pass H.J.Res. 46 to terminate the President's national emergency in order to defend the U.S. Constitution and uphold our solemn duty to support our brave men and women in uniform," the lawmakers wrote.

The resolution to overturn Trump's emergency declaration on the border passed the House last month, picking up 13 GOP votes to go along with unanimous Democratic support. 

Rep. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoHillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Lawmakers weigh responses to rash of ransomware attacks Hillicon Valley: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account hacked | Google found iPhone security bug | YouTube reportedly to pay up to 0M to settle child privacy investigation | DNC expected to nix Iowa virtual caucus plans MORE (R-N.Y.) missed the vote because of the death of his father but said he also supported the resolution.

Four Republican senators have already said they will vote for the resolution later this week, on the grounds that the president's declaration sets a precedent that weakens the legislative branch in favor of the executive.

But the White House, eager to get Republicans to stick with the president, on Tuesday dispatched Vice President Pence to the Senate. 

Pence was apparently successful in swaying Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisTillis trails Democratic Senate challenger by 2 points: poll Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE (N.C.) — who had earlier said he'd vote for the resolution — to reconsider his position.

The emergency declaration would allow the president to move funds from other agencies to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to build a border wall, a prospect that's made Republican senators wonder whether the emergency powers passed in the 70s are "too broad," according to McConnell.

But McConnell has said current legislation allows for emergency declarations like Trump's.

The letter's authors took a different view, asking McConnell to "urge the Senate to reject the President's clearly unlawful actions and protect the integrity of our institution."

They also urged McConnell to "safeguard our constitutional obligations and support the health, welfare, and earned benefits of American heroes who put their lives on the line to defend our country."

Gallego and Carbajal are Marine veterans; Rush, Brown and Rose are Army veterans; Cisneros is a Navy veteran; and Lieu served in the Air Force.

Brown and Lieu are reserve colonels in their respective services, and Rose serves in the National Guard.

—Updated at 3:06 p.m.

Letter to McConnell on Scribd