Senate to rebuke Trump on wall

The GOP-controlled Senate is poised to pass a Democratic resolution Thursday blocking President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis MORE’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the Mexican border. 

Talks within the GOP conference to avoid an embarrassing rebuke for Trump collapsed Wednesday, and Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeFirst responder calls senators blocking 9/11 victim funding 'a--holes' Jon Stewart rips into Rand Paul after he blocks 9/11 victim compensation fund: 'An abomination' Senate approves long-delayed tax treaties in win for business MORE (Utah) joined four fellow Republican senators who have already said they will back the measure. 

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Many more are expected to vote against Trump on Thursday. Members of both parties believe he went too far in declaring an emergency to secure funding for a wall that he could not win through the appropriations process — or an extended government shutdown that was a black eye for the Republican Party. 

The House has already approved the resolution, meaning Trump will be forced to use his veto power for the first time. 

GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsHillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey Epstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse PBS premieres first nationally distributed kids' show with Native American lead MORE (Alaska), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisRepublicans scramble to contain Trump fallout McConnell says Trump is not a racist, but calls for better rhetoric GOP senator: 'Outrageous' to say Trump's tweets about Democratic congresswomen are racist MORE (N.C.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulFirst responder calls senators blocking 9/11 victim funding 'a--holes' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Jon Stewart rips into Rand Paul after he blocks 9/11 victim compensation fund: 'An abomination' MORE (Ky.) have said they will back the measure. Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump may intervene in Pentagon cloud-computing contract: report Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US Colombian official urges more help for Venezuelan migrants MORE (Fla.), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE (Utah), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke Republicans make U-turn on health care Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid MORE (Tenn.), Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonGeorgia senator hospitalized after fall Senate GOP raises concerns about White House stopgap plan to avoid shutdown VA chief pressed on efforts to prevent veteran suicides MORE (Ga.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonMystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia Trump may intervene in Pentagon cloud-computing contract: report Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp MORE (Wis.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseAcosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers Some good advice for Democrats to ignore in 2020 Swing-state Democrats see trouble in proposed pay hike MORE (Neb.) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranEpstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse Bottom Line Senate GOP raises concerns about White House stopgap plan to avoid shutdown MORE (Kan.) are among the Republicans who could join them. 

Republicans control 53 seats in the chamber, and Democrats are set to back the resolution unanimously. A GOP aide said the high-water mark for votes against Trump is likely 12 Republicans and 59 senators overall. 

A senior Senate GOP aide confirmed the vote will happen Thursday, although a precise time was not locked in by Wednesday afternoon. 

Lawmakers opposed to Trump’s use of the emergency declaration seem unable to meet the two-thirds majority vote in either chamber to overturn his veto, but a big vote in the Senate would at least put opponents in striking range. 

Tillis and Lee were in talks with Vice President Pence on Tuesday to try to find a compromise that would allow them to vote against the resolution of disapproval, but those talks collapsed on Wednesday. 

“We tried to cut a deal, the president didn’t appear interested,” Lee told The Hill. “I’ll be voting ‘yes.’ ”

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The president called Lee during a lunch meeting of the Senate GOP conference to announce that he would not endorse Lee’s bill to require Congress to approve future emergencies. 

Republican senators said Trump’s opposition to reining in his emergency powers effectively blew up any chance of coming up with a strategy to defeat the disapproval resolution. 

“ ‘Dandy Don’ Meredith used to sing a song at the end of the game when the result was obvious. It was called turn out the lights, the party’s over. Well, that’s appropriate right now,” Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) told reporters after Trump’s position became known. 

“It’s time to vote, everybody knows how they’re going to vote. I don’t think the president’s going to win this one,” he added.

Trump, who is using the emergency declaration to access billions of dollars to build the wall, including $3.6 billion in military construction funds, warned Republicans on Wednesday that defectors are making a political mistake. 

“This is a vote on border security and it’s a vote on drugs and trafficking and all of that. And I think most Republican senators fully understand that,” Trump told reporters. 

Trump says senators can vote their conscience but should proceed carefully.

“I said use your own discretion. But I think it’s a bad vote if they go against — I think anybody going against border security, drug trafficking, human trafficking, that’s a bad vote,” he said.

Republican senators say there are still some negotiations happening over what time the vote should happen and whether the resolution should be subject to amendments. 

“There’s been discussion about potential amendments, and that was part of what was discussed, but there’s no decision made,” said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDemocratic Houston councilwoman announces Senate bid Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal MORE (R-Texas). 

Thursday’s vote will be the second time in two days the GOP-controlled Senate has broken with Trump.

The chamber voted Wednesday to withdraw U.S. support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting against Houthi rebels in Yemen’s civil war. It passed a similar resolution in December. That legislation must still pass the House.

Rubio said Wednesday that Trump’s declaration is troubling because it would take away money Congress appropriated for military construction projects.

“It’s money that Congress specifically appropriated for purposes of construction on military facilities. You could make an argument that it’s legal under the statute, but it stretches it and that’s what people are uncomfortable with,” he said. 

Rubio said there’s discussion about an alternative resolution sponsored by Alexander and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz calls for 'every penny' of El Chapo's criminal enterprise to be used for Trump's wall after sentencing Conservatives defend Chris Pratt for wearing 'Don't Tread On Me' T-shirt Google official denies allegations of ties to China MORE (R-Texas) that would limit Trump’s ability to redirect funding to two pockets of money.

Another GOP lawmaker, however, said that proposal has been on the table for days and failed to generate much support in the conference. 

“It’s gotten to the point of being absurd,” the senator said of the increasingly frantic efforts to find a way to avoid voting for the disapproval resolution. 

Alexander, a Senate institutionalist who is retiring in 2020, has led the criticism of Trump’s action. 

He called the emergency declaration “unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution.”

Alexander and other Republicans say that a future Democratic president could use Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to tear down the border wall, to close coal plants or to require all Americans to receive health coverage under Medicare instead of from private employers. 

Jordain Carney contributed.