Trump May Have to Use His Very First Veto

Congress looks poised to vote against his national emergency declaration
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2019 7:27 AM CST
Congress Poised to Rebuke Trump on National Emergency
President Trump gestures as he walks to Air Force One as he departs Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

If President Trump wants to keep his declaration of a national emergency in place, it's looking increasingly likely that he will have to use the first veto of his presidency. The House votes Tuesday on a measure to nullify the emergency, and the measure is expected to pass easily, reports the Washington Post. The Senate will then have to vote on it within 18 days, and Trump can afford only four GOP defections, per Politico. The president got some bad news Monday night, when North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis announced in a Post op-ed that he planned to join fellow Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins in voting no. Given how many other GOP senators have voiced reservations about Trump's action, it now seems a safe bet that the measure will pass the Senate, too. That means Trump would have use the first veto of his presidency to keep the emergency in place.

Already, the key question shaping up on the issue is whether Democrats can muster enough support to override the expected veto. As of now, it looks unlikely, reports the Hill. Even if the House manages to pass the measure with a veto-proof majority (two-thirds), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would need only 34 votes to sustain the veto. McConnell, though, already has warned Trump that the initial vote, requiring only a simple majority, is not likely to go the president's way, per the Hill. As for Tillis, he explained his no vote this way: "Conservatives rightfully cried foul when President Barack Obama used executive action to completely bypass Congress," he wrote. "There is no intellectual honesty in now turning around and arguing that there’s an imaginary asterisk attached to executive overreach—that it’s acceptable for my party but not thy party." (More national emergency stories.)

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