The 12 Senate Republicans who joined Democrats on Thursday in blocking President Trump’s national emergency declaration might not be able to override what's expected to be Trump's first veto since taking office, but their show of opposition to the president remains significant, Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York argued.
The president's call for action at the U.S.-Mexico border went down in defeat, 59-41, as Republicans senators including Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney said no to a plan that included spending about $8 billion on a border wall.
During Thursday's "Special Report" All-Star panel, York — along with USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page and Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti — weighed in on the fallout from the vote and what's next for Trump’s proposal.
York began by telling the panel that the White House feels “very confident” that Trump’s declaration will be upheld by the Supreme Court. He then pointed to the 12 Republican defectors who thought the declaration was an executive overreach.
“That is the biggest rejection, the biggest Republican rejection we’ve seen of the president so far in this presidency. That is a big deal even if the veto can’t be overturned,” York told the panel.
“That is the biggest rejection … we’ve seen of the president so far in this presidency. That is a big deal even if the veto can’t be overturned.”
— Byron York, Washington Examiner chief political correspondent
York added that the border-wall construction can “go ahead” based on funding that has already been appropriated by Congress.
Page pointed out that of the 10 Republicans who are up for reelection in 2020, only one — Collins of Maine — voted against Trump, and that Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who wrote an op-ed opposing the declaration, ultimately “flipped” and voted with the president.
Meanwhile, Continetti said “two issues” were taking place, one being the crisis at the southern border due to an influx of migrants and the other being whether President Trump has the constitutional authority to reallocate funds approved by the Congress.
“What I don’t understand are the Democrats, who deny the existence on the border, but at the same time hope that the courts uphold Trump’s effort to declare an emergency because they want to use the powers themselves for climate change and/or gun control," Continetti said. "That is being intellectually dishonest."