Senate joins House in voting against border emergency declaration, Trump says 'Veto!'

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Trump is also seeing Senate Republican defections over his foreign policy decisions, including a resolution approved Wednesday that would direct him to withdraw US support for the Saudi Arabia-led conflict in Yemen.

Trump has his veto pen ready. But on the morning of the vote, the simmering revolt grew to 12 Republicans, and the final tally was a resounding 59 to 41. Moments after Thursday's vote, the president tweeted a single word of warning: "VETO!" It's quite clear that neither house of Congress can garner two-thirds majorities to override the coming presidential veto - so if a bipartisan appetite truly exists to limit "emergency" authority, why not take up the baton, post-veto?

Trump asserts that Democrats don't want to secure the border, while Democrats say the president is wasting money on an ineffective and symbolic effort to keep undocumented immigrants out of the U.S. The roll call came just a day after the Senate took a step toward a veto fight with Trump on another issue, voting to end USA support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition's war in Yemen. The votes by the House and Senate to reject Trump's declaration may be helpful to those fighting in court to overturn it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations.

Senator Mitt Romney, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, opposed Trump on the declaration, saying he cast his vote "for the constitution and for the balance of power that is at its core".

Romney said his vote is not a vote against border security. Susan Collins of ME, a GOP defector who faces re-election next year in a state that reveres independent streaks in its politicians. "But I'm a United States senator and I feel my job is to stand up for the Constitution, so let the chips fall where they may".

"I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!" Trump had campaigned for president promising Mexico would pay for the wall.

Still, the breadth of opposition among Republicans suggested how concern about his declaration had spread to all corners of the GOP.

"Today's votes cap a week of something the American people haven't seen enough of in the last two years", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.

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Republicans control the Senate 53-47.

King expressed frustration the Department of Defense had so far refused to provide Congress with the projects it would have to suspend under Trump's emergency declaration in order to fund the wall.

They warned that a future Democratic president could take a policy priority like climate change and declare it a national emergency to work around the legislative branch, which holds the power to appropriate money. "The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!" he tweeted. They also said Trump was merely exercising his powers under the law, which largely leaves it to presidents to decide what a national emergency is.

Trump has made clamping down on illegal immigration a cornerstone of his presidency and it promises to be central to his 2020 re-election campaign.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump didn't justify his declaration or spell out which military construction projects would be affected.

Republicans had hoped that Trump would endorse a separate bill by Utah's Sen.

McConnell said Trump was "operating within existing law" and that if senators did not like the powers provided to the president under the National Emergencies Act, "then they should amend it". "Don't vote with Pelosi!".

In addition to Lee and Portman, the Republicans voting for the resolution were: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Patrick Toomey of Pennesylvania, Roger Wicker of MS and Rand Paul of Kentucky. "No president has ever used what's called the National Emergencies Act in this way". Congress can vote to block a declaration, but the two-thirds majorities required to overcome presidential vetoes make it hard for lawmakers to prevail. A vote on Lee's plan was expected after Congress returns from a recess later this month. That would have applied to future emergencies but not Trump's current order unless he sought to renew it next year.

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