Senate eyes forcing House to vote again on stopgap as deadline looms
McConnell: Senate will pass resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday said that he expects a resolution blocking President Trump's emergency declaration to pass the Senate, but he does not believe lawmakers will be able to override a veto.
"I think what is clear in the Senate is that there will be enough votes to pass the resolution of disapproval, which will then be vetoed by the president and then in all likelihood the veto will be upheld in the House," McConnell said while speaking to reporters in Kentucky.
The Senate will vote on the resolution before lawmakers leave town on March 15 for a weeklong recess.
The resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration appeared to clinch the 51 votes needed to pass the Senate when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced over the weekend that he would vote for it.
In addition to Paul, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) have said they will vote for a resolution of disapproval. Several other GOP senators, including Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), have yet to say how they will vote.
Trump announced that he would declare a national emergency to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall after Congress passed a funding bill that included $1.3 billion for physical barriers, below the $5.7 billion the president requested.
But his decision has put Republicans in a bind. GOP senators have been wary of breaking with the president on border security, but they've also been concerned that Trump's decision could let a future Democratic president use a national emergency declaration on issues like climate change.
McConnell added that while he was supporting Trump's emergency declaration, he was "hoping he wouldn't take that particular path."
"Yeah I am," he said, asked if he was concerned about the precedent set for a Democratic president. "That's one reason I argued obviously without success to the president that he not take this route."