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 TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE's national emergency declaration and efforts against it.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden 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.

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"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 CollinsThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Senate panel clears controversial Trump court pick Republicans warn election results are 'wake-up call' for Trump MORE (R-Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week Pay America's Coast Guard 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 RomneyThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Falling investment revives attacks against Trump's tax cuts GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week 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 AlexanderJuan Williams: Republicans flee Trump Romney, Collins, Murkowski only Senate GOP holdouts on Graham's impeachment resolution The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Better Medicare Alliance — Impeachment angst growing in GOP 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.