The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency

President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE’s decision to declare a national emergency in order to circumvent Congress and secure funds to build a wall on the Mexican border puts him on a collision course with lawmakers from his own party. 

No Republican senator has said they will break ranks and vote in favor of a resolution of disapproval that Democrats are expected to bring to the floor, but there are reasons to expect some defections. 

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A number of Republicans fear Trump’s move will undermine Congress and embolden a future Democratic president to take similar actions. 

Here are 10 Republican senators who could vote against the president. 

 
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTop Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure Bill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (Maine)

Collins, a top Democratic target in 2020, has warned that the emergency declaration is “of dubious constitutionality” and a “mistake.” 

She hasn’t definitively said how she will vote and suggested to reporters Thursday that her decision could swing on how much money Trump plans to redirect through his emergency declaration.

Voting against Trump’s declaration would give her some distance from the president, which could help her politically after she voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughOn The Money: Biden asks Congress to extend eviction ban with days until expiration | Economic growth rose to 6.5 percent annual rate in second quarter Biden calls on Congress to extend eviction ban with days until expiration An obscure Supreme Court ruling is a cautionary tale of federal power MORE

 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (Alaska)

Murkowski said last week that the lack of a border wall is not “a matter that should be declared a national emergency.”

She has also said that acting “unilaterally” raises a concern about precedent.

“We don’t know who our next president may be, but it may be a president whose No. 1 priority is dealing with climate change, who says ‘I don’t care whether I have the support of the Congress,’ ” she said in a CBS interview. “Or a president who may say ‘I believe that gun violence in this country is the most pressing issue and I don’t care whether the Congress supports me or not.’ ”

She has also voiced anxiety about how the action could erode congressional authority.

 

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands GOP senator credits Sinema for infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (N.C.)

Tillis is another Democratic target in 2020, though his state has voted for the GOP candidate for president in the past two cycles.

He has generally been a strong ally of Trump’s, but he may want to demonstrate independence. 

Tillis, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, worries that Trump’s plan to take money from military construction projects for the wall could undermine defense readiness. 

He warned in a statement that “it wouldn’t provide enough funding to adequately secure our borders” and “would create a new precedent that a left-wing president would undoubtedly utilize to implement their radical policy agenda while bypassing the authority of Congress.” 

 

Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (Tenn.)

Alexander, an institutionalist and student of history, is attuned to the constitutional and separation of powers questions raised by Trump’s action. 

He’s also retiring, which gives him the freedom to vote his conscience. 

Alexander was one of six Republicans who voted last month for a Democratic measure to reopen the federal government without additional funding for the border wall.   

On Friday, he called Trump’s action “unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the Constitution,” warning it could set the precedent for a president to declare an emergency to tear down border barriers or close coal plants. 

 

Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerEx-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Biden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms MORE (Colo.)

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Gardner, like Collins, faces reelection next year in a state won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote MORE

In a statement, he said Congress is “most appropriately situated to fund border security,” but he hasn’t said how he’d vote on a disapproval resolution. 

He is facing pressure from within his state, one of 16 that have filed a
lawsuit against Trump’s action. Nearly 100 people gathered outside Gardner’s Fort Collins office Monday to protest Trump’s announcement.

Gardner says he is “currently reviewing the authorities the administration is using.” 


Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBreak glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand foreign aid partnerships MORE (Fla.)

Rubio, whom Trump defeated in the 2016 GOP primary, says he will review the administration’s arguments on its statutory and constitutional powers. 

“I am skeptical it will be something I can support,” he has said, noting the precedent it could set.

He warned Monday of its implications for military projects. 

“Just as a matter of policy, our military construction budget is already behind schedule compared to where we need to be for some of our facilities around this country, so I think it’s a bad idea,” he said. 

 

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill MORE (Utah) 

Romney, one of six Republicans to vote to reopen the government without additional wall funding, last week said he wanted to see what “legislative authority he might cite” before rendering a decision on an emergency declaration. 

The Utah senator has harshly criticized Trump, and his national stature as a past GOP presidential nominee has set him up as a rival leader within the party to Trump.

He predicted last month there was a “good chance” Trump would declare an emergency and warned it would set a bad precedent. “We Republicans will be concerned that this kind of approach could be used by perhaps a Democrat president in the future,” he told KSL Newsradio’s “Dave and Dujanovic.”

 

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHouse GOP stages mask mandate protest 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade Economic growth rose to 6.5 percent annual rate in second quarter MORE (Utah) 

Lee said in a tweet Friday that “Congress has been ceding far too much power to the exec. Branch for decades. We should use this moment as an opportunity to start taking that power back.”

A spokesman said Lee is undecided on how to vote on any resolution that comes to the Senate floor. 

Lee has been a leading advocate for giving Congress more say over Trump’s authority to use military force. 

In December, he was one of seven Republicans who voted for a resolution to end U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s civil war. He co-wrote the resolution with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure Millennial momentum means trouble for the GOP Briahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' MORE (I-Vt.). 

 

Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranGraham: Bipartisan infrastructure pay-fors are insufficient This week: Democrats move forward with Jan. 6 probe Bipartisan senators ask CDC, TSA when they will update mask guidance for travelers MORE (Kan.)

Moran has quietly emerged as an independent-minded lawmaker who’s willing to buck Trump on big votes. 

He also voted with Lee and Collins in December to rein in Trump’s war-making authority, sending a message to Saudi Arabia after the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Moran argues that Trump’s decision could embolden future presidents to circumvent Congress. 

“I’m worried that if it gets used this time, what’s the next instance in which it becomes used?” he said last week.  

 

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill MORE (Ky.) 

Paul has emerged as a confidant of Trump’s, but he has also styled himself a constitutionalist throughout his Senate career and regularly bucks his party’s leadership on votes that strike at his core principles. 

Paul has warned against circumventing Congress’s power of the purse.

On Thursday, he said he was “disappointed” with the president’s “intention to declare an emergency to build the wall.” 

While Paul supports stronger border security, he said “extraconstitutional executive actions are wrong, no matter which party does them.” 

And Paul hasn’t been shy about bucking Trump on other high-profile questions, as shown through his attempt to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia. 

He voted with Lee, Collins and Moran in December to curb the president’s war powers and regularly defends the independence of the separate branches of government.