White House tries to avert Senate defeat on border emergency

White House tries to avert Senate defeat on border emergency

Trump declared the border emergency after Congress refused to give him as much money as he wanted for his wall.

Opposition by a few Republican senators to President Donald Trump's emergency declaration at the U.S. -Mexico border appears to be softening.

"Republican Senators are proposing new legislation to allow the President to violate the Constitution just this once in order to give themselves cover", she said.

The White House and Republican senators are seeking compromise on a plan to limit future presidential powers to unilaterally declare national emergencies. That would be enough to kill the resolution in the Senate, provided no other Republican senators oppose of Trump's declaration or alter their position. Trump claims his first years in office have been "the most successful first two years in history" and asks how anyone with such a record can be removed from office when "impeachment is for "high crimes and misdemeanours"?" Trump has been lobbying hard for Republicans to fall in line and vote to support his emergency declaration.

But Illinois Democrat Rep. Jan Schakowsky says a House vote is futile.

In an attempt to stave off Senate passage - an embarrassing prospect for Trump - Republican senators have been pushing an alternative measure that would instead address concerns that Trump's powers under the National Emergencies Act are too broad.

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Vice President Mike Pence, center, accompanied by his Chief of Staff Marc Short, second from left, leaves the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Republican senators and the White House hatched a plan Tuesday to try and push an alternative bill to the disapproval resolution now before the upper chamber of Congress.

Tillis - who Republican senators and aides broadly believe is flippable - told reporters after the meeting that the discussions with the administration remain a "work in progress". Tillis faces a potentially tough re-election fight next year. The others are Sens. Rand Paul, Susan Collins, Thom Thillis and Lisa Murkowski. And there is zero indication, at least at the moment, Trump will come on board.

Congress would be highly unlikely to muster the two-thirds majorities needed to eventually override a veto. Congress has never before voted to overturn a president's emergency declaration. Mike Lee, R-Utah, on Tuesday, would make national emergency declarations by the president subject to congressional approval every 30 days.

Portman spokeswoman Emily Benavides said her boss backs the bill because he "supports narrowing the scope of the National Emergencies Act so that Congress will have more control over these decisions in the future". That vote could well occur after Congress returns from a recess later this month.

The strongest chance of blocking Trump's border emergency is likely several lawsuits filed by Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and others.

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