US Senate Republicans launched their first major rebuke of US President Donald Trump voting 59-41 against his ambitious 'emergency declaration' to build a border wall along the US-Mexico border. In voting against the move, Trump's own party is showing the first signs of breaking away as the 2020 campaigning shifts into higher gear and the wounds of the 2018 midterm loss remain fresh. A dozen Republicans voted with their arch rivals against the US president. Sharp words flew ahead of the early afternoon vote, with Democrats framing Trump's emergency declaration as a "personal tool to massage his own ego."
As Trump's legal and political peril rises by the day, Republicans have been increasingly willing to defy Trump publicly on matters ranging from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to the president's apparently supportive stance toward Russia. Today's vote is a headline moment for that new continuum.
Trump, on predictable lines, has renewed his threat to veto any congressional resolution revoking his declaration of an emergency at the southern border. Trump had declared an emergency as an end run around Congress to access more money for his promised border wall.
"I told Republican senators, vote any way you want. Vote how you feel good. But I think it's bad for a Republican senator. I also think it's bad for a Democrat senator to vote against border security and to vote against the wall. I think if they vote that way, it's a very bad thing for them, long into the future," Trump said in public comments.
Last-ditch jabs at getting Republicans on Trump's side flopped Wednesday and Trump will be forced to veto the resolution - the first veto of his presidency.
Trump tweeted early Thursday about "the big National Emergency vote today" in the Senate. He said, "I am prepared to veto, if necessary," and called the situation at the border "a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare."
Trump has not yet vetoed a bill. Overturning a presidential veto requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate, but there aren't enough votes to do so on the border resolution.
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Updated Date: Mar 15, 2019 00:26:26 IST