Senate Rejects Trump’s Border Emergency Declaration, Setting Up First Veto

The Senate on Thursday easily voted to overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwestern border, delivering a bipartisan rebuke to what lawmakers in both parties deemed executive overreach by a president determined to build his border wall over Congress’s objections.The 59-41 vote on the House-passed measure sets up the first veto of Mr. Trump’s presidency. It was not overwhelming enough to override Mr. Trump’s promised veto, but Congress has now voted to block a presidential emergency declaration for the first time — and on one of the core promises that animated Mr. Trump’s political rise, the vow to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.

“Never before has a president asked for funding, Congress has not provided it, and the president then has used the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to spend the money anyway,” Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said. “The problem with this is that after a Revolutionary War against a king, our nation’s founders gave to Congress the power to approve all spending so that the president would not have too much power. This check on the executive is a crucial source of our freedom.”

In an attempt to limit defections ahead of the vote, Mr. Trump had sought to frame the vote publicly as not only a declaration of support for his border security policies but a sign of personal loyalty.

“It’s pure and simple: it’s a vote for border security, it’s a vote for no crime,” Mr. Trump told reporters ahead of the vote, which he declared on Twitter to be “a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime and the Open Border Democrats!”
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