Senate Republicans push plan to maintain national emergency at border

White House tries to avert Senate defeat on border emergency

With Republicans controlling the Senate 53-47, it will take just four GOP defections to approve the measure, which the House passed last month.

Although four Republican senators have already announced they will vote to nullify the president's emergency declaration, one of them - Sen. Without concrete evidence implicating the president, Republican senators worry that advancing impeachment motions plays on progressive aspirations.

Congress does not have the votes to override Trump's veto. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rand Paul of Kentucky. "The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass".

In a statement issued later, the Utah senator said, "Unfortunately, it appears the bill does not have an immediate path forward, so I will be voting to terminate the latest emergency declaration".

In an attempt to stave off Senate passage - an embarrassing prospect for Trump - Republican senators have been pushing an alternative measure that would instead address concerns that Trump's powers under the National Emergencies Act are too broad.

If Trump's border emergency stands, he could divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build border barriers, even though Congress had voted to limit him to less than $1.4 billion for such construction.

"They're being beaten up right now, so if you see anybody that's got blood dripping out of their ear, they may be changing", Paul said Tuesday of Republican senators who remained undecided.

Trump has been lobbying hard for Republicans to fall in line and vote to support his emergency declaration.

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Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, spoke on the phone privately with Trump last week about the emergency declaration vote, along with other issues.

"I think she is aware of the political mistake it would be to go after Trump", former senior adviser to Trump's 2016 campaign Barry Bennett told The Hill.

Even so, there was little doubt among GOP senators that Thursday's vote would turn out badly for the party.

The White House is laboring to prevent a high-profile congressional rejection of President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border, or at least reduce the number of Republican senators joining Democrats to thwart him. "Legally I don't think it's something that can ever be 100 percent off the table, but if that's how she feels right now I respect that".

Under a 1976 law, presidents have wide discretion in determining when a national emergency has occurred. It would apply to future emergencies, not Trump's current border emergency. Presidents have never before declared an emergency after Congress voted to deny them money for the same goal.

On Tuesday, Lee sponsored the Article ONE Act, which would limit the president's authority to declare for only 30 days unless Congress voted to extend the emergency.

The strongest chance of blocking Trump's border emergency is likely several lawsuits filed by Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and others.

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