12 Republican senators defy Trump on emergency declaration 

Twelve Senate Republicans from different corners of the party banded together Thursday to deliver President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE the biggest rebuke of his presidency, voting to disapprove of his emergency declaration for the Southern border.

The Republican rebels joined every single Senate Democrat in the chamber in voting to block Trump’s emergency declaration, which grants him access to $3.6 billion in military construction funding to build border barriers. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The vote brought together prominent moderates — Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGiffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days Lawmakers call for investigation into program meant to help student loan borrowers with disabilities MORE (R-Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The Hill's Morning Report - Dem impeachment report highlights phone records Republicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members MORE (R-Alaska) — and staunch conservatives — Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Democratic congressman calls for study of effects of sex-trafficking law McConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' MORE (R-Ky.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC Senators defend bipartisan bill on facial recognition as cities crack down Trump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans MORE (R-Utah) — as well as other Republicans who fall between them on the ideological spectrum. 

The resolution also won the support of three of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The case for censuring, and not impeaching, Donald Trump MORE’s (R-Ky.) most trusted advisers on policy issues: Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanLawmakers call for investigation into program meant to help student loan borrowers with disabilities Senators sound alarm on dangers of ransomware attacks after briefing Senate roundtable showcases importance and needs of women entrepreneurs MORE (R-Ohio) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.), members of the Finance Committee who are considered experts on trade and tax policy, and Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSenate passes bipartisan bill to permanently fund historically black colleges Rick Perry says Trump is the 'chosen one' sent 'to do great things' Impeachment will make some Senate Republicans squirm MORE (R-Tenn.), an authority on a range of topics.

It also won the last-minute support of Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Overnight Defense: Trump cancels presser, cuts short NATO trip | Viral video catches leaders appearing to gossip about Trump | Dem witnesses say Trump committed impeachable offenses | Trump reportedly mulling more troops in Middle East Trump legal team gears up for Senate impeachment trial in meeting with GOP senators MORE (R-Mo.), the chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee and a member of McConnell’s elected leadership team. 

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyImpeachment can't wait Republicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in MORE (R-Utah), who has emerged as a counterweight to Trump in the Senate’s freshman class, announced his support for the resolution Thursday morning, declaring, “This is a vote for the Constitution and for the balance of powers that is at its core.”

His home-state colleague, Lee, who tried to assemble a last-minute deal with the White House to rein in the president’s powers under the National Emergencies Act, said, “The White House is asserting authority to spend money objects and priorities in a manner not themselves directly authorized by Congress.”

“Congress directly refused the request to appropriate the specific amount of funds that we’ere dealing with here,” he added. 

The backlash against Trump was all the more pointed after days of lobbying led by Vice President Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report Hillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Minority lawmakers call out Google for hiring former Trump DHS official MORE and White House legislative liaison Shahira Knight.

Trump himself made a final appeal to Republican senators on Thursday, tweeting about drug smuggling and human trafficking at the border and asserting the constitutionality of his action. 

“A vote for today’s resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments Bloomberg: Trump should be impeached On The Money: Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown | Trump asks Supreme Court to shield financial records from House Democrats | House passes bill to explicitly ban insider trading MORE, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!” he warned. 

But in a telling reflection of Trump’s popularity with the Republican base, only one of the 12 rebels is up for reelection next year: Collins, who represents a state that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Saagar Enjeti ponders Hillary Clinton's 2020 plans Political ad spending set to explode in 2020 MORE won in 2016. 

Another Republican facing reelection, Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisOvernight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 Giffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick Planned Parenthood targets GOP senators in seven-figure ad campaign MORE (R-N.C.), changed his position on the disapproval resolution moments before the vote. 

Tillis stated his support for the resolution in a Feb. 25 op-ed in The Washington Post but since then has come under pressure from conservatives in North Carolina, who warn he may face a primary challenge in 2020. 

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseFCC votes to bar use of its funds to purchase Huawei, ZTE equipment Senate approves stopgap bill to prevent shutdown Trump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition MORE (R-Neb.), who describes himself as a “constitutional conservative” and warned in February that Trump’s declaration could undermine constitutional checks and balances, also voted "no." 

Sasse was seen as a possible "yes" vote, but he too is on the ballot in 2020 and could face a primary challenger on the basis of his up-and-down relationship with Trump.  

Some Republicans, such as Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio places hold on number-two Interior nominee over offshore drilling Rubio on Chris Pratt water bottle story: 'I too was caught with a single use plastic water bottle' House votes to sanction Chinese officials over treatment of Uighurs MORE (Fla.), had made up their minds days ago but kept their decisions private out of deference to the White House and GOP colleagues who were trying to come up with a compromise to avoid voting for the disapproval resolution. 

Rubio, however, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on military construction, made clear last month that he had serious misgivings about diverting funds Congress had appropriated to rebuild and maintain military installations. 

Some Republicans who voted against the resolution flew under the radar in the days leading up to the vote. 

Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSenators inch forward on federal privacy bill Hillicon Valley: Dueling bills set stage for privacy debate | Google co-founders step down from parent company | Advocates rally for self-driving car bill | Elon Musk defamation trial begins | Lawsuit accuses TikTok of sharing data with China Advocates hopeful dueling privacy bills can bridge partisan divide MORE (R-Kan.), who kept his position private and didn’t participate prominently in the frantic negotiations of the past week to come up with a way to defeat the disapproval resolution, announced his "yes" vote on Thursday morning. 

“I share President Trump’s goal of securing our borders, but expanding the powers of the presidency beyond its constitutional limits is something I cannot support,” he tweeted.

Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerTrade deal talks expand as Congress debates tech legal shield Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware Senators inch forward on federal privacy bill MORE (R-Miss.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, also kept his position quiet until voting for the resolution on the floor. 

After years of watching power in Washington slowly shift from Congress to the White House, a trend accelerated by the gridlock that has characterized Capitol Hill over much of the last decade, Republican senators on Thursday said they hah had enough. 

In the end, the vote boiled down to an effort by GOP lawmakers to preserve their power of the purse, even though they agree with Trump’s desire to secure the border to halt the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants. 

“One branch of government is asking another branch to give up power. Nobody gives up power around here. People want power, they don’t want to give it up,” said Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.), explaining why it was perhaps inevitable that Republican colleagues would rebel against Trump’s emergency declaration. 

Thursday’s vote was the second time in two days the Senate voted to limit Trump’s power.

Senators voted Wednesday 54-46 to withdraw U.S. military support for a Saudi-backed coalition fighting in Yemen’s civil war. Seven Republicans voted for that measure even though it faces a veto.

Here is the list of the GOP senators who voted against Trump on the emergency declaration:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)

Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.)

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)

Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) 

Sen. Jerry Moran (Kan.)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)

Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)

Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah)

Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.)

Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.)

Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.)

--Updated at 3:30 p.m.