US Senate votes to overturn Trump emergency decree


US Senate votes to overturn Trump emergency decree

Patrick Martin

15 March 2019

In a demonstration of mounting crisis within the US political system, the Senate voted Thursday afternoon, by a margin of 59-41, for a resolution to overturn the declaration of national emergency issued by President Trump on February 15, in which he directed military resources to be used for the building of a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Twelve Republican senators broke with Trump on the issue, joining all 47 Democrats to approve the resolution adopted by the House of Representatives on February 26. Under the terms of the 1976 National Emergencies Act, the passage of a resolution by either house of Congress to overturn a presidential declaration of emergency forces the other house to vote on the issue within 18 days. No filibusters or other procedural delays are permitted, and the vote is by a simple majority.

Trump is expected to veto the resolution as soon as it is delivered to his desk. He tweeted the single word “VETO!” within minutes of the Senate vote. His twitter feed Thursday was filled with invective against the Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and he threatened political retaliation against any Republican senator who defied the White House.

That 12 Republicans defied such threats is significant. The previous day, seven Republicans broke with the White House to vote in favor of a resolution condemning US support for the military intervention by Saudi Arabia in the civil war in Yemen, enabling passage of the resolution by a 54-46 margin.

More important than these rebuffs, however, are 41 Senate Republicans who voted in support of the White House on the national emergency declaration. The vast majority of the Republican caucus thus sanctioned presidential actions…

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