BREAKING: Senate Votes to End President Trump's National Emergency Declaration, Setting up Veto Showdown

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Posted: Mar 14, 2019 3:20 PM
BREAKING: Senate Votes to End President Trump's National Emergency Declaration, Setting up Veto Showdown

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A number of Republicans joined Democrats Thursday afternoon to vote down and end President Trump's national emergency declaration on border security.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz split from colleague Mike Lee on the vote. The Senators are usually on the same page.

"Today, the National Emergencies Act required the Senate to answer one question: whether there is an ongoing emergency at our southern border. I voted to support the President’s declaration because, as Texans realize all too well, there is one," Cruz released in a statement after the vote. “This was a difficult vote. I understand my colleagues’ real concerns regarding the vast emergency powers that Congress has given the President over the last half-century. I share those concerns."

In a surprising move, Republican Senator Ben Sasse voted in favor of President Trump's declaration. 

“We have an obvious crisis at the border everyone who takes an honest look at the spiking drug and human trafficking numbers knows this and the President has a legal path to a rapid response under the National Emergencies Act of 1976 (NEA). I think that law is overly broad and I want to fix it, but at present Nancy Pelosi doesn't, so I am therefore voting against her politically motivated resolution.  As a constitutional conservative, I believe that the NEA currently on the books should be narrowed considerably. That’s why I’m an original sponsor of Senator Lee's legislation, and it is why I have repeatedly gone to the White House to seek support for NEA reform," Sasse said in a statement. "I urge both the Majority and Minority Leaders to assist in moving this legislation through committee and quickly to the Floor for debate, negotiation, and passage through the full Senate. If this Congress is serious in its concerns about decades of executive overreach, we will devote ourselves to systematically reclaiming powers Congress has been imprudently granting to presidents of both parties for far too long. Today’s resolution doesn’t fix anything because the root problem here can't be fixed with bare-knuckled politics but rather with a deliberate debate about the powers that Congress has been giving away and that the Executive has therefore claimed.”

Republican Senator Rand Paul, who's been against Trump's declaration for weeks, voted to end it. 

"I stand with President Trump on the need for a border wall and stronger border security, but the Constitution clearly states that money cannot be spent unless Congress has passed a law to do so,” Senator Rand Paul said.

President Trump has vowed to veto the legislation and the White House has been running a campaign all day arguing the crisis on the border is a national emergency. It will be the first veto issued during his tenure in the White House.

This post has been updated with additional information.