Vice President Mike Pence and Republican senators are working on a deal that would stop Republicans from voting against President Donald Trump’s national emergency.
The emergency declared last month, would help the president fund construction of a Southern border wall stopped by Congress.
But many Republicans have feared that supporting such an action would give future Democrat presidents unlimited power.
Power to declare national emergencies on things like gun control and climate change, allowing them to get around Congress.
But legislation crafted by Sen. Mike Lee would see to it that future presidents, and Trump himself, would be limited on future national emergencies,” The Hill reported.
Vice President Pence is discussing an offer with Republican senators that could lead to the defeat of a Democratic resolution overturning President Trump’s emergency declaration to build a wall on the Mexican border, according to GOP sources briefed on the matter.
Under the deal discussed between Pence and GOP senators, Trump would sign legislation reining in his power to declare future national emergencies if they defeat the resolution of disapproval.
Killing the resolution on the Republican-controlled Senate floor would spare the president a major embarrassment and avoid him having to issue the first veto of his presidency.
Should Republicans support Trump’s declaration?
But there is some skepticism among GOP senators whether Trump will actually go through with it. And the plan is hurt by the fact that a bill to curb the president’s power to declare national emergencies won’t come to the Senate floor until after the March recess.
Pence met Tuesday with a group of Republicans, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the sponsor of legislation to curb the president’s national emergency declaration power, as well as Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). Lee’s measure would require Congress to vote to extend a national emergency declaration after a period of 30 days.
Senate Republicans familiar with the offer say there would have to be an ironclad promise from Trump to sign Lee’s bill in order to flip Republicans who currently say they will vote for the resolution of disapproval.
“If Congress is troubled by recent emergency declarations made pursuant to the National Emergencies Act, they only have themselves to blame,” Sen. Lee said on Tuesday.
“Congress gave these legislative powers away in 1976 and it is far past time that we as an institution took them back,” he said.
“If we don’t want our president acting like a king we need to start taking back the legislative powers that allow him to do so. The ARTICLE ONE Act will go a long way to restoring the balance of powers in our republic,” he said on Twitter.
If we don’t want our president acting like a king we need to start taking back the legislative powers that allow him to do so. The ARTICLE ONE Act will go a long way to restoring the balance of powers in our republic. https://t.co/cOyhJtvPWf
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) March 12, 2019
Still, even with some Republicans voting to stop President trump’s national emergency it is unlikely that there would be enough to override a veto.
That means the best, and likely only, chance Democrats have to stop his declaration is to use activist judges in the courts.
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