Senate Republicans say talks to find a way to stop a House-passed resolution disapproving of President Trump’s emergency border declaration are collapsing amid Republican divisions over what some see as a breach of separation of powers.
Senate Republicans said Wednesday afternoon that Trump will not support a proposal sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to reform the National Emergencies Act of 1976 and require Congress to approve future emergency declarations after 30 days.
“It’s my understanding the president won’t support it,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) leadership team, after meeting with colleagues at lunch to discuss the state of the talks.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told reporters after a conference lunch meeting Wednesday that it’s clear the disapproval resolution will pass.
“Dandy Don Meredith used to sing a song at the end of the game when the result was obvious. It was called turn out the lights the party’s over. Well, that’s appropriate right now,” he said.
“It’s time to vote, everybody knows how they’re going to vote. I don’t think the president’s going to win this one.”
There was a flash of hope Tuesday that a deal could be worked out with the White House whereby Trump would promise to support legislation curbing his power to declare future national emergencies in exchange for Republicans defeating the disapproval resolution.
But Trump decided against curbing his own presidential power, GOP senators said.
The disapproval resolution faces a certain Trump veto and there’s not enough support in either the House or the Senate to override it.
“This president like any other president is not going to give up power that Congress has given him in the past. It’s been there since the 1970s. Why would this president give it up?” said a Republican senator who requested anonymity to talk about internal discussions.