The U.S. Senate was poised on Thursday to pass a proposal to terminate President Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency at the southern border, defying his threat to veto the measure and heavy lobbying of his fellow Republicans.
Five Republican senators have said they back the measure passed in February by the U.S. House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats. At least four Republicans are needed to pass it in the 100-seat Senate, along with all 45 Democrats and two independents.
But the measure is unlikely to become law given that a two-thirds vote of Congress is needed to override a presidential veto, which Trump vowed to issue if it passed the chamber Thursday.
“I am prepared to veto, if necessary,” Trump said in an early-morning post on Twitter before senators took up the measure.
Vice President Mike Pence met with Republican senators this week to try to tamp down support for the measure, with some Republicans worried that future Democratic presidents could usurp the power of Congress to fund the government and use the emergency declarations to fund their own pet programs.
Pence told senators that Trump would back a second bill offered by Republican Senator Mike Lee, which would end future emergency declarations after 30 days unless Congress votes to extend them.
Lee said on Wednesday the White House had subsequently made clear his bill did “not have an immediate path forward.” He added he would vote on Thursday to end the emergency declaration.
At stake are billions of dollars in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that Trump is demanding but Congress has refused to fully provide. The stalemate led to a 35-day partial government shutdown that ended in January.
Under the emergency declaration Trump signed on Feb. 15, he would take money from other federal programs to build the barrier he says is needed to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
Democrats deny there is an emergency at the border, saying border crossings are at a four-decade low.
Court challenges have also been filed asserting it is Congress, not the president, that decides how taxpayer money is spent.
Reporting by Amanda Becker and Richard Cowan; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Peter Cooney and Jeffrey Benkoe
DOJ employees urged to revolt against Bill Barr for throwing IG report ‘in the trash’ to defend Trump
On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his partisan suppression of the inspector general's conclusions about the FBI's Russia investigation.
"Here's the problem. The inspector general has already found that the — the investigation was not motivated in the way that Bill Barr is saying it is, and he's directly taking all the work of all the people and he's throwing it in the trash," said Alksne. "And he's added this other layer of an investigation and now he's broken all the rules, because one of the rules in an investigation is you don't talk about it in the middle, and he's done that. And it's a very threatening thing to the person who did the initial investigation, and it's also a way of putting his thumb on the scale with the guy who's doing the followup investigation, [U.S. Attorney John] Durham. He was talked into issuing a press release that was completely improper."
GOP ridiculed for hyping Ohio anti-impeachment protest — and only a handful of Trump supporters showed
The official Twitter of account of the Republican National Committee was buried in mockery after hyping up a video of anti-impeachment protesters in Youngstown, Ohio, where it appears only a handful of people showed up.
According to the tweet, "Ohioans are sick and tired of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS!"
However, in the video from WKBN, which can be seen below, few people chose to show up for the cameras.
As one commenter noted with tongue-in-cheek, "Thought Ohio had a few more people than that."
That was the general consensus in the comments.
GOP lawmaker scrambles for excuses after being cornered with McConnell’s promise to rig Trump impeachment
On CNN Saturday, anchor Martin Savidge confronted Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), one of Trump's biggest defenders on cable television, about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's claim that he was "coordinating" the impeachment strategy with the White House.
"Where is the impartiality there?" asked Savidge. "And it has to be a concern because, as you point out, you are an attorney and you would be worried if a member of the jury had already stated how they were going to consider."
"Yeah, we heard those comments yesterday, as everyone did," said Johnson. "You know, I've actually talked about this with some of my Democrat [sic] colleagues, those who are very much in favor of impeachment. I said isn't it a fair description of what he said? The way I heard that, Mitch McConnell is talking about the scheduling of the trial, what length of trial or what would be involved with that, with the White House, which is not unprecedented. That's what happened in the Clinton proceedings as well, they coordinated with the White House on scheduling. I don't think he's talking about the merits of the case. I think he's talking about how long will be allowed for this to go forward so I don't think there's anything inappropriate about that."