Republican senator says he’ll vote against Trump’s national emergency

Posted at 11:04 PM, Feb 25, 2019

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis will vote in favor of a resolution against President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border, the North Carolinian wrote Monday in a Washington Post op-ed

Tillis wrote that, while he favors border security, he is concerned the President has overreached with the national emergency declaration.

“As a U.S. senator, I cannot justify providing the executive with more ways to bypass Congress,” he wrote. “As a conservative, I cannot endorse a precedent that I know future left-wing presidents will exploit to advance radical policies that will erode economic and individual freedoms.”

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has also announced plans to vote against the national emergency, while other Republicans have expressed concerns in the past week. Only four Senate Republicans need to vote for the resolution condemning the emergency in order for it to pass, which would likely cause Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency.

The House is set tovote on the resolution Tuesday, and it is likely to pass in the Democratic-controlled chamber. The measure would block the President from accessing some funds to construct a wall on the southern border.

Trump has vowed to veto the resolution. To override that, two-thirds of both chambers of Congress would need to vote in favor of the resolution after Trump vetoes it.

Tillis argued that voting on the resolution should not be a question of support for the President and border security. Instead, he said, it is an issue of separation of powers, and he warned Republicans not to “look the other way” because the same tactic could be used by a Democratic president in the future.

He equated his opposition to the national emergency to his opposition to then-President Barack Obama’s executive action creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“There is no intellectual honesty in now turning around and arguing that there’s an imaginary asterisk attached to executive overreach — that it’s acceptable for my party but not thy party,” Tillis wrote.

The national emergency is facing legal challenges as well after 16 states filed a lawsuit to block it last week.

Opposition to the national emergency was also expressed Monday in a letter signed by a bipartisan group of former national security officials.