Trump would be setting up an unusual precedent and undermining the bases of the US separation of powers with his determination to achieve through the veto the declaration of “national emergency”.
This undermining of the State structure has been supported by his fellow Republicans, who do not see how the challenge of the White House leader is destroying the Founding Fathers’ principles.
The necessary votes in a bipartisan combination that may prevent the Upper Chamber from approving the president´s executive order are ready. However, Trump has already stated that he will use his veto power to challenge the Republican congressmen who will have to choose between the constitutional principles and their partisan devotion.
The last line of defense that will try to resist the presidential ambition is placed in the Supreme Court of the United States where a case has been raised about the illegality of funds deviations previously authorized by the Congress.
Nevertheless, political analysts say that Trump will create a double fracture within the State, not only when taking powers that belong to the Legislative, but because technically he would have “justice on his side”, because many of the Supreme Court judges were appointed by him.
Several Republican senators have already announced their intention to vote against the US President´s state of emergency to finance the border wall, which would impose the challenge of Congress and force Trump to use his veto capacity.
Rand Paul said on Twitter that he must vote faithful to as his principles but that president Trump was wrong, not in his politics, but in his quest to expand presidential powers beyond the constitutional limits.
In an op-ed piece the conservative Fox network, Paul also declared how Republicans rejected former President Barack Obama´s use of executive power and stressed that “the only way to be an honest officeholder is to stand up for the same principles no matter who is in power. ”
With this rejection, the legislative proposal of blocking the national emergency declaration issued by Trump in February to redirect funds for the construction of his controversial wall with Mexico, would achieve the 51 votes necessary to prevail.
The vote is expected to take place in the next two weeks.
The 47 Senate Democrats have already assured that they will vote to block the measure and four Republicans have joined them:Susan Collins, Thom Tillis, Lias Murkowski and, now, Paul.
Republicans have a slight majority in the Upper House from 53 to 47.
The initiative needed a simple majority in the Senate to get ahead. This would make Trump to force the presidential veto, something he has already promised to do “100 percent.”
Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, at a rally in Kentucky, said “I think what is clear in the Senate is that there will be enough votes to pass the resolution of disapproval, which will then be vetoed by the president and then in all likelihood, the veto will be upheld in the House.”
However, the Democratic legislators have faith that they will be able to fuel the flame that consolidated the nation and that Republican congressmen like Susan Collins, Thom Tillis, Lias Murkowski and Rand Paul, understand that the nation cannot give in to the Executive’s pretensions of confiscating the attributions of a sovereign and independent branch of the State such as the Legislative.
After the presidential veto, the measure would go back to Congress, where it should surpass two thirds of the votes to move forward and abolish the veto, which seems unlikely at the moment.
Defeated since the Beginning
Trump’s declaration of emergency had already been approved in the House of Representatives, with a Democratic majority, by 245 votes in favor and 182 against, with the backing of 13 Republicans included, but also below the two-thirds threshold.
As a result, the presidential veto capacity would be imposed, but the chambers of Congress blockade, including that with a Republican majority, would imply an unusual rejection by the legislature to the White House.
Trump decreed on February 15 the state of national emergency for a supposed drugs and criminals “invasion”on the Mexican after the Congress denied him his budgetary pretensions for the building of the wall.
Under the national emergency, the president can divert funds from other budget items already authorized by Congress and use them to fulfill the promise that brought him to the White House.
The items already approved that the White House tries to divert are from the Pentagon and the Department of the Treasury and reach $6.6 billion.
Added to the $1.375 billion that Congress approved for the wall, Trump aims to designate about $8,000billion dollars for the construction of 376 kilometers (234 miles) of wall across the extensive southern border.
The Court: Last line of defense
Parallel to the legislative battle, the Democrats have also filed a lawsuit before the Justice to suspend the funds diversion with the argument that it involves an “illegal diversion” of funds from Congress for something that, in their opinion, does not represent a real emergency.
The issue probably ends up getting to the Supreme Court, where there is a majority of conservative judges, two of them appointed by Trump himself.
Translated by: Jose Espinoza