Senate has votes to block Trump’s emergency declaration: McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects his chamber will have the votes to pass a resolution blocking President Trump’s national emergency declaration, but an effort to override a presidential veto will fail in the House.

“I think what is clear in the Senate is that there will be enough votes to pass the resolution of disapproval, which will then be vetoed by the president and then in all likelihood the veto will be upheld in the House,” McConnell said Monday.

He said the Senate vote would happen before the lawmakers go on a one-week recess March 15.

McConnell made his comments after that he would join three other Republican senators — Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — voting against the declaration.

If those four join with all the 47 senators who caucus with the Democrats, there would be a bipartisan majority to block the declaration, leaving Trump with the choice to veto the legislation, .

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A two-thirds majority is needed to override the veto, meaning 55 Republicans would have to vote with Democrats in the House.

McConnell said he supports Trump’s declaration, but hoped the president wouldn’t have to resort to using it because of the precedent it sets for a Democratic president.

“That’s one reason I argued obviously without success to the president that he not take this route,” he said.

Trump declared a national emergency last month in a maneuver that would allow him to shift funds from the military construction budget to pay for a wall on the southern border, a signature issue of his presidential campaign.

The declaration came after Congress refused to authorize the $5.7 billion in funds Trump demanded for the barrier — appropriating only $1.375 billion.

With Post wires

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