Tuesday, the Democratic majority house will vote to reject President Donald Trump's decision to declare a national emergency along our southern border. When that happens, the Senate will have by law 18 days to vote for the privileged resolution itself.
And at the moment, the moment is moving towards Trump and Senate Republican leaders – increasing the possibility that the President might be forced to issue the first veto of his mandate on what is widely seen as his biggest campaign law, an embarrassing moment to say the least. The latest crack in Republican support for Trump's Wall – or at least his decision to use his national emergency powers to funnel previously allocated funds to build the border barrier ̵
1; came Monday when North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R) announced that he would vote for the rejection decision. Here is a bit of what he wrote in a Washington Post-op ed announcing the decision:
"As an American senator, I cannot justify exercising more ways to circumvent the congress. As a conservative, I cannot endorse one precedent I know that future left-wing presidents will exploit to promote radical policies that will destroy economic and individual freedoms.This is why I will vote in favor of the decision to reject the Presidential National Emergency Statement if and when it comes to the Senate. "
That makes Tillis the second Republican senator who will sit with the Democrats on the default decision when it comes to voting. (Maine Sen. Susan Collins said last week that she would support the disapproval measure.) A third – Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski – is now finally in favor of the decision and she tells reporters on Tuesday that she will support it.
Trump tried to keep armed republicans in line with a tweet on Monday
: "I hope our great Republican senators will not be taken down the road of weak and ineffective border security, not having a country – and voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, do not fall into the Democrats' trap of open borders and crime! "
Assuming all 47 Democrats – including the two independent caucus with Democrats – vote for the resolution, that means that only one Republican should be missing to make a unanimous decision on the President's desk. (No Democrat has come out saying they will oppose the measure, the two most likely to do so – if anyone does – West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Alabama are Sen. Doug Jones.)
Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) told CNN's Ted Barrett on Monday that while he would oppose the measure, he expected to pass the Senate – forcing Trump to a veto that would hold due to the fact that no chamber would have a two-thirds majority disrupting the.
Part of it is Cornyn's expectation and tries to lower expectations to the point where if the measure of disapproval passes the Senate he – and Senate leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) may try to break down the impact or their surprise.
But let's play this out. There are currently at least 50 votes for the National Emergency Response Solution. Where can the other come from? (The measure must have 51 votes to pass.)
The fact that Collins and Tillis are already in record as voting for the default resolution tells when trying to cheat out who else might be defective. Both are up for re-election in 2020 in states that are swing-y. A vote against the motion of disapproval would surely be the feed of their possible democratic opponents, who would use the vote to designate the incumbent companies as undisputed supporters of not just a proposal that a majority of the country opposes (Trump's border wall), but one president who is not terribly well-liked in every state.
By these standards, here are the Republican senators who may have the strongest political reason to be the disapproval measure:
1) Cory Gardner (Colorado) : Gardner represents a state Trump lost in 2016 and is a major target for democrats by 2020. He has not yet declared an attitude in the resolution but said last week that "Congress is best suited to finance border security".
2) Martha McSally (Arizona) : McSally lost the 2018 Senate Camp to the Church of the Sinema (D), but was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by Jon Kyl's (R) departure in the midst of December. This makes McSally potentially vulnerable as she seeks the rest of Cool's term by 2020. Her decision is particularly full because Arizona, a border state, has long been at the forefront of the national immigration struggle, with many of the most prominent supporters of Trumps borders wall makes a lot of noise in the state. (Formerly Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I'm talking about you.) Given that, a vote in favor of the default decision could be the spark of a serious primary challenge for McSally. But voting against the measure can also be problematic in an election. McSally has been very quiet about this problem, but soon has to make up for her thoughts.
3) Joni Ernst (Iowa) : The Hawkeye state went to Trump in 2016, but moved strongly back to the Democrats in mid-2018. Democrats lost their best recruitment in the form of former governor Tom Vilsack (D) last week, but are pursuing, among other things. Rep. Cindy Axne. While recent voting suggests that freshman Ernst is in solid position by 2020, she still needs to be aware of the changing dynamics of her state. It is not surprising that Ernest has not yet said much publicly about how she can vote on the decision.
In conclusion, the conclusion is simple: Mathematics and momentum are now working towards the Senate Republicans. Of course, 18 days is a decent lump of time for McConnell and Cornyn to turn this around and avoid having Trump's first veto as president be on his border.
But today it seems to be exactly where we are going.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly state the voices necessary for the disapproval measure to pass. That is 51.