Upton, Amash among 13 Republicans rebuking Trump on border wall

Donald Trump | Shealah Craighead, White House photo, Flickr

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted on Tuesday to block President Trump’s emergency border wall declaration, delivering a stinging rebuke to the White House.

Justin Amash | photo by Gage Skidmore, Flickr

The president is attempting to use the declaration to circumvent Congress to secure billions of dollars in funding for a wall along the southern U.S. border. The chamber voted 245-182 for a resolution to end Trump’s emergency declaration, with 13 Republicans crossing over.

Two Republicans from Michigan voted for the resolution, U.S. Reps. Justin Amash of Cascade Township and Fred Upton of St. Joseph. The other 11 Republicans joining them were: Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Mike Gallagher and Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Will Hurd of Texas, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Tom Rooney of Florida, Elise Stefanik of New York and Greg Walden of Oregon.

Fred Upton | Ken Shipp, Department of Energy, Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, 25 GOP former lawmakers, including former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), signed a letter urging GOP members of Congress to vote for the resolution, as the Advance reported. Amash was the lone GOP co-sponsor of the resolution, so his intentions were clear. But Schwarz said he wouldn’t be surprised if Upton voted for the resolution, as well.

The resolution now heads to the GOP-led U.S. Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is required under the National Emergencies Act to hold a vote on the House resolution within 18 days.

Several Senate Republicans have signaled they’ll side with Democrats in the vote, including Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. The resolution would need the support of at least four Republicans to clear the chamber.

The border wall between the United States and Mexico in Texas | Wikimedia Commons

Trump has said he’d veto the resolution if it makes it to his desk. Overriding that veto would require two-thirds majorities of 290 in the House and 67 votes in the Senate. In Tuesday’s vote, House backers of that resolution fell short of the votes they would need to override a veto.

Trump has argued that the declaration is necessary to secure U.S. borders and curb crime. He wrote on Twitter Monday, “I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security. Without strong Borders, we don’t have a Country – and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don’t fall into the Democrats “trap” of Open Borders and Crime!”

But Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans have accused the president of acting unconstitutionally by spending federal funds against the wishes of Congress.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Trump’s move a “power grab” that “fundamentally violates the balance of power envisioned by our Founders.”

Critics of the president’s declaration are suing Trump, too. Sixteen states led by California filed a lawsuit seeking to block the declaration, including Michigan. The other states are: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.

Robin Bravender
Michigan native Robin Bravender is the Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit news publications, including the Michigan Advance. Previously, Robin was a reporter for Politico, E&E News and Thomson Reuters.


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