With a U.S. House vote set for Tuesday on a simple one-page plan from Democrats to overturn President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency - designed to funnel billions of dollars to construction of a wall along the Mexican border - GOP lawmakers are feeling pressure from the White House to stick with the President on the border wall, even as some Republicans worry about the precedent being set.
"The same congressional Republicans who joined me in blasting Pres. Obama’s executive overreach now cry out for a king to usurp legislative powers," tweeted Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), the sole GOP lawmaker in the House to co-sponsor the plan to reverse the President's border money decision.
While other Republicans have made statements expressing reservations about the President's move, one of the more interesting parts of Tuesday's vote will be seeing how many GOP members of the House actually take the step to go on the record against President Trump.
The same congressional Republicans who joined me in blasting Pres. Obama’s executive overreach now cry out for a king to usurp legislative powers. If your faithfulness to the Constitution depends on which party controls the White House, then you are not faithful to it.— Justin Amash (@justinamash) February 23, 2019
Just a few years ago, Republicans were quick to denounce President Obama's executive actions on immigration, which moved to protect many illegal immigrant “Dreamers” from being deported .
"This executive overreach is an affront to the rule of law," said then-House Speaker John Boehner, as the House voted in 2015 to overturn President Obama’s actions.
On Monday, President Trump labeled the resolution on his national security declaration a 'trap' - as he called on GOP Senators not to vote with Democrats on the measure, in a senate already conceding defeat on the matter in the House.
I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security. Without strong Borders, we don’t have a Country - and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don’t fall into the Democrats “trap” of Open Borders and Crime!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2019
While most Republicans seem likely to back the President, there is clearly some hand wringing going on.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) is one who believes the President is absolutely right about the need to put more money into security along the border with Mexico - but Banks is one of many who worries that Mr. Trump will set a precedent that a future Democratic President can use to bypass Congress and the "Power of the Purse" in the Legislative Branch.
"The Legislative Branch of government should make law, not the Executive Branch," Banks said in an interview with a TV station in his district.
I support the President 100% on the need for stronger border security and a wall. But, I can’t deny my reservations about the precedent and implications the President’s large-scale Emergency Declaration, and its abuse by potential future Democrat administrations. pic.twitter.com/iTwukDml8Y— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) February 24, 2019
"How would Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders use this precedent for a national disaster declaration to force the Green New Deal on the American people?" said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).
This resolution would overturn the declaration being used to shift $3.6 billion in funds away from already approved military construction projects - the Pentagon has still not detailed which projects in which states will be cut back to pay for the wall.
The military construction budget for 2019 is $10.3 billion, meaning the President's declaration would claim over one-third of that money, which goes to construction work at bases in 38 states and at overseas military facilities.
If all 432 members vote in the House on the resolution (there are three vacancies), then 288 votes would be the magic number for a veto-proof super majority in the House.
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