Now that a handful of influential Senate Republicans started expressing their reservations about President Trump's decision to call a national emergency to secure another $7 billion in funding for his promised border wall (or "barrier"...or "fence"...), it's becoming increasingly clear that a Congressional challenge to order will likely clear both the Democrat-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate, provoking the president to issue what would be the first veto of his presidency, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing remarks made on Sunday news shows.
Both Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan said on ABC’s "This Week" that they expect a resolution in Congress to terminate Trump’s order would have enough votes to pass both the House and the Senate by simple majorities, thanks to Republicans who fear Trump's order would deprive the military of essential funds.
Trump will redirect $3.6 billion in military construction funding toward the border project, and will also take separate executive action repurposing about $2.5 billion from the Defense Department’s drug-interdiction program and $600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset-forfeiture fund. Officials said the goal is to ultimately build roughly 234 miles of barriers along the border, including bollard-style wall. The funding is on top of roughly $1.4 billion earmarked to build 55 miles of barrier as part of the border security compromise passed last week.
But the resolution will likely run into trouble if Trump issues the veto, because it's doubtful that the Democrats could muster enough votes in the Senate to override it.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth told @martharaddatz she believes the Senate has enough votes for a joint resolution to terminate Pres. Trump's national emergency declaration: "Now whether we have enough for an overriding veto, now that's a different story." https://t.co/GQPsKgY08K pic.twitter.com/OWIhHpFgq9— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 17, 2019
Rep. Jim Jordan on Congress' bill offering less money than Pres. Trump suggested for the proposed border wall: "The point is there is money that he can use that doesn't require an Executive Order... then he's also going to use the emergency declaration." https://t.co/8OAj5PPTTQ pic.twitter.com/RTZLPoxQF9— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 17, 2019
And, assuming the resolution does pass, Stephen Miller implied during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" that President Trump would veto it, saying that the president would "protect his emergency order" and adding that the order itself wasn't unconstitutional because Congress had passed the National Emergency Act, which enabled the president to take this step.
"He is going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed," Miller said. Jordan added that once a veto is issued, "I don't think there's any chance the veto would be overridden."
Of course, Trump's national emergency declaration is also facing a challenge from several states' attorneys general (including likely New York and California), and presumably lawsuits from interest groups will follow. To that end, Congressman Adam Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump's admission during his press conference that he "didn't need to do this" could doom his order in the courts.
But for now, at least, the vote to block the order could backfire on the Dems, as Trump will likely use it as blatant politicking and one more example of Democratic obstructionism which he has sought to tie to Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.