For the second time, the Senate approved a resolution blocking President Donald Trump’s national emergency plan to divert funds from other military projects to begin building his long-promised southern border wall, a move that will likely face another veto.
Eleven Republicans joined the 47 Democrats in voting to block the measure, which is likely to sail through the Democrat-controlled house — but not with a veto-proof two-thirds super majority.
Congress also passed a similar resolution back in March but Trump used his presidential veto power for the first time to override the resolution.
Trump declared a national emergency in February after Congress approved $1.38 billion — well below the nearly $6 billion Trump sought amid a record-long government shutdown — in funding to fix older segments of fencing and not to build any new sections.
The resolution passed 54-41 with nearly an identical breakdown of who voted for what, other than Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who previously supported the measure but did not vote Wednesday because he was absent.
Republicans who voted against emergency declaration include: Mitt Romney and Mike Lee of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Pat Toomey of Rhode Island, Roy Blunt of Missouri and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.
The Senate Republicans who voted against the emergency declaration say they are for the border wall, but they are against the president bypassing Congressional authority to appropriate taxpayer funds. The Constitution gives the “power of the purse” to Congress, not to the president.
“Congress alone is empowered by the Constitution to adopt laws directing money to be spent from the United States treasury,” said Collins, who is up for reelection in 2020 in what is sure to be a tight race for her seat. “We must stand up and defend our role that the framers very clearly set forth in the Constitution.”
The pot was effectively stirred again this month when the Pentagon announced the military projects that would lose funding to the border wall, including a number of schools and daycare centers for the children of servicemen and women. In all, six elementary, middle and high schools in the U.S. and overseas for military families lost their funding.
“If my Republican friends choose to stand with President Trump on this vote, they will be supporting the president taking money from our military and their families to fund a border wall,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.-N.Y., said this week.
Most Republicans, however, see border security as paramount.
“Unwilling to work with the president and Senate Republicans on a long-term bipartisan solution for border security, Senate Democrats are making us repeat the same show vote again,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday.