Senate

Romney to vote against Trump's emergency declaration

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on Thursday that he will oppose President Trump's emergency declaration to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

"I will vote today for the resolution of disapproval. This is a vote for the Constitution and for the balance of powers that is at its core," Romney said in a statement.

Romney is the sixth Republican senator to say he will vote for the resolution of disapproval, which is getting a vote in the Senate later Thursday.

In addition to Romney, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had already announced they would support the resolution. Shortly after Romney made his announcement, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) became the seventh Republican to say they will vote to block Trump's declaration.

Underscoring the quagmire Republicans have tried to navigate on Trump's emergency declaration, Romney stressed that he supported Trump on border security but had concerns that his emergency declaration would set a precedent for a future Democratic president.

"I am seriously concerned that overreach by the executive branch is an invitation for further expansion and abuse by future presidents. ... Where Congress has enacted a specific policy to consent to an emergency declaration would be both inconsistent with my beliefs and contrary to my oath to defend the Constitution," Romney added.

With all 47 Democrats expected to support the resolution of disapproval, it has the votes to pass the Senate and force a showdown with Trump, who has pledged he will veto it.

Trump made a series of eleventh-hour pleas to Republicans to vote against the resolution of disapproval, ranging from being open to amending emergency powers in the future to warning they were siding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

"Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress," Trump said in a tweet Thursday morning.

He pivoted in a subsequent post, adding: "A vote for today's resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!"

- This report was updated at 11:16 a.m.

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