Pence meeting with Senate GOP ahead of vote to block emergency declaration

Pence meeting with Senate GOP ahead of vote to block emergency declaration
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence and Justice Department (DOJ) officials will meet with Senate Republicans on Tuesday to discuss President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE's national emergency declaration and efforts against it.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSkepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal GOP expects Senate to be in session next week without coronavirus deal House Republicans introduce legislation to give states 0 million for elections MORE (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, told reporters that Pence and DOJ officials will attend the closed-door caucus lunch on Tuesday. Pence, as the president of the Senate, regularly attends the lunches.

The meeting comes ahead of a House vote on a resolution designed to block Trump's declaration. The resolution is expected to pass on Tuesday.

That will kick the fight to the Senate, where Democrats need to flip a total of four Republicans if they want to send the resolution to Trump's desk and force him to use his first veto since assuming office.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We've got somebody from the Justice Department and the vice president coming up at lunch tomorrow to talk about it, so we'll all know maybe more tomorrow than we know today," Blunt said when asked if he thought the resolution could pass the Senate.

Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFrom a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus New polls show tight races for Graham, McConnell MORE (R-Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns MORE (R-Alaska) are expected to vote for a resolution to disapprove Trump's emergency declaration.

Several other Republicans have voiced concerns about Trump's decision but said on Monday that they are still reviewing his declaration.

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFrom a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans NRCC poll finds McBath ahead of Handel in Georgia MORE (R-Utah) told reporters that he was "moving closer" to a decision but declined to say which way he was leaning.

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline Trump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal MORE (R-Tenn.) declined to say how he would vote, but characterized the emergency declaration as "unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution."

Trump announced earlier this month that he would declare the national emergency after Congress passed a funding bill that included $1.375 billion for physical barriers along the border — far less than the $5.7 billion he requested.

Trump wants to pull together the money from Congress, as well as funds accessed through executive action or his national emergency rather than appropriated funds to round up roughly $8 billion for the wall.

Blunt did not know if the administration is focusing on any particular funding sources within the government to use as part of the emergency declaration but predicted the topic would come up during Tuesday's lunch.