The Senate voted Thursday to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration over the southern border, a sharp bipartisan rebuke of the president’s flex of executive power.
The chamber comfortably passed the measure in a 59-41 vote. Twelve Republicans supported it.
Trump plans to reject the bill, which the Democratic-held House has already passed. The veto would be the first of his presidency. Neither chamber appears to have enough support to overcome Trump’s opposition with a two-thirds majority vote.
Republican senators who worried about executive overreach dealt an embarrassing blow to the president, who publicly lobbied the GOP to support his declaration in recent days. GOP lawmakers who voted to terminate Trump’s action voiced concerns not only about presidents circumventing Congress’ appropriations power, but also the prospect of Democratic administrations declaring emergencies on other topics in the future.
Trump declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border last month to divert $3.6 billion from military construction funds to build his proposed border wall. The move followed Trump’s frustration with lawmakers’ decision to allocate only $1.4 billion of the $5.7 billion Trump wanted for border barriers in a measure to fund the government through September.
With Trump’s expected veto, Congress will not stop the emergency declaration. His administration will still have to defend its legality in court. More than a dozen states and several other groups have challenged the executive action.