President Donald Trump issued a one-word Twitter response to news that the Senate had voted to sustain a resolution opposing the president's use of the "national emergency" to reroute funds from other military priorities to the building the border wall.
The Senate voted 59-41 to pass the measure, declaring they would not support a "national emergency" declaration on the southern border should the president decide to send one to Congress.
Twelve Republicans sided with Senate Democrats to support the measure, including the predicted Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), perpetual moderates Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), pledged opposition Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who was the first to declare that he would vote against any effort on the part of the White House to pass the "national emergency" on separation of powers grounds.
Senate PASSES resolution to terminate President Trump's emergency declaration at the border, 59-41, sending it to Trump's desk for him to veto (as he has threatened to do).— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) March 14, 2019
12 GOP YES VOTES:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) were unexpected votes against the resolution. Sasse, who is typically a thorn in the president's side, said that he voted against the measure because, while he disagrees with the "overly broad" interpretation of "national emergency," he believes that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democrats are being unreasonable in cutting off all funding to border control projects.
"I think that law is overly broad and I want to fix it, but at present Nancy Pelosi doesn’t, so I am therefore voting against her politically motivated resolution," Sasse told media after the vote. He added that he is a "Constitutional conservative," but that both parties must come together to discuss the "serious issue" of immigration reform rather than fight about whether it constitutes a "national emergency."
The results of the vote are, reportedly, better than the White House predicted, according to Politico. The Trump Administration had feared that more than 12 Republicans would defect, ostensibly giving opponents of his resolution a veto-proof majority — a clear embarrassment for the White House affecting Trump's signature agenda item.
To head off that disaster, White House aides had been burning up the phone lines, furiously whipping a handful of GOP senators back to voting against the resolution. The president even invited a handful of Republicans to the White House Wednesday night for a personal meeting in a last-ditch effort to convince fence-sitters not to hand the White House an obvious public loss.
Alexander and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) were considered prime targets of the administration, but both voted against the bill.
The president had a one-word response, though, for his Republican Congressional colleagues: "VETO."
VETO!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019
He elaborated in a later Tweet.
I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country. I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019
"I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country. I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!," he said.