Congress Blocks National Emergency Declaration for the First Time in U.S. History

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Senate

President Donald Trump is preparing to issue his first presidential veto after the Republican-controlled Senate approved a resolution to block his national emergency declaration.

Just after the vote passed, the President issued a statement on Twitter, saying that he “looked forward” to vetoing what he called the “Democrat inspired” resolution.

However, 12 Republicans joined Senate Democrats in voting to pass the resolution, which was approved by the Democratic-controlled House, where 13 Republicans also broke with the President.

This is the first time in U.S. History that Congress has voted to terminate a national emergency declaration from a President. However, should President Trump veto the resolution, it is unlikely that Congress will be able to gather enough votes to override the veto.

Republicans reportedly worried that the declaration would set a precedent for future Democratic presidents to use the national emergency declaration as a way around Congress’ constitutional authority regarding budget approvals for policies like a single-payer healthcare system or the Green New Deal. The President scoffed at such notions, insisting that they were “overthinking” it.

According to Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) “Such a declaration would undermine the role of Congress and the appropriations process; it’s just not good policy.”

According to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) “Never before has a president asked for funding, Congress has not provided it, and the president then has used the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to spend the money anyway.”

Even if the emergency declaration is veto and fails a veto override vote, it is likely that it will still face legal challenges.

This resolution is the second time in two days that the Senate as rebuked Trump, a sign that Republicans are increasingly willing to break with the Trump administration. Earlier this week, the Senate voted to approve a resolution ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, a clear rejection of Trump’s foreign policy. He is expected to veto that resolution as well.

Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.

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