Susan Collins says more Republicans will vote against Trump’s national emergency

March 7, 2019 GMT

More Republicans on the Hill will join the effort to prevent President Donald Trump’s national emergency from taking effect, a prominent moderate legislator from the Northeast is predicting.

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, told CNN Thursday that she believes more of her fellow GOP senators will join her and other defecting Republicans to vote for a resolution preventing Mr. Trump from using his emergency powers to redirect some defense appropriations towards border-wall construction.

“I haven’t taken a count,” Ms. Collins said. “But I can tell you from talking with my colleagues that many are troubled, even those who are the strongest supporters of the President and his views on border security.”

Ms. Collins, along with Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rand Paul of Kentucky, have all announced they would vote for the resolution and give the Democrats the votes they need to pass the measure.


In the lead-up to the vote, Mr. Trump has tweeted that the Republican Party needed to “stay united,” dismissing concerns that a future Democratic president could claim precedent for implementing his or her own controversial emergency edicts.

“Senate Republicans are not voting on constitutionality or precedent, they are voting on desperately needed Border Security the Wall,” he tweeted. “Our Country is being invaded with Drugs, Human Traffickers, Criminals of all shapes and sizes. That’s what this vote is all about. STAY UNITED!”

The vote is expected to happen prior to March 15, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he expects the bill to pass in the Senate, get vetoed by Mr. Trump and see the veto eventually “upheld in the House” for lack of a two-thirds supermajority.

While a poll found that 55 percent of voters are skeptical about the need for a wall, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warned that the border “crisis is real” at a congressional hearing Wednesday.

While Ms. Nielsen called it a “humanitarian catastrophe” and “chain of human misery,” Democrats said she was lying about the severity of the problems at the U.S.-Mexico border.

New numbers that were recently released show illegal immigration at its highest point since 2007, the last time the government held a mainstream campaign to build a border wall.