"The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass".
Chances seem to be improving that President Donald Trump might avoid an expected rejection by Congress of his effort to divert more money to building barriers along the Mexican border. The way this likely ends, the senator said, is the Senate votes on Thursday on the resolution of disapproval and GOP losses are around what we've been reporting for the last few weeks - somewhere between 10 and 15 Republicans.
To win Senate approval, the House resolution needs four Republican votes along with those of all its Democrats.
But Trump on Wednesday continued to insist that Republicans are "overthinking" the matter and that Thursday's vote is a question of border security and nothing else. Since the Democratic-run House voted last month to block Trump, Senate passage would send the resolution to the White House, where it would face a certain veto.
"After Pelosi's comments, Republicans countered, asking why Democrats would have issued 81 document requests to people associated with President Trump if they're not already planning on impeachment".
If the Senate sends the resolution blocking Trump's border emergency to the White House, Congress would be highly unlikely to muster the two-thirds majorities needed to eventually override a veto.
With roughly a dozen Senate Republicans either committed to voting to disapprove of the president or weighing their options, some in the GOP are trying to cut a deal with the president to scale back his national emergency power so that Congress must approve future emergencies. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, an adviser to Senate GOP leadership, said of the eleventh-hour White House lobbying effort.
"Republican Senators are proposing new legislation to allow the President to violate the Constitution just this once in order to give themselves cover", said a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat. "I will be voting to terminate the latest emergency declaration".
Trump made his views known in a phone call with Lee, as the conservative senator lunched with fellow Republicans at the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe it.
Republicans have also voiced concerns about the precedent that could be set for future Democratic presidents to declare national emergencies on any number of issues. If Trump would commit to signing a bill that would handcuff future emergency declarations, some of those senators might support his border declaration.
The senator cautioned that Trump's position may still change - "It is only Wednesday, and it is the Trump administration". That 30-day approval window would apply after Trump's current border declaration expires in one year, meaning it could remain in place for at least a year without congressional approval.