President Donald Trump tried repeatedly to have Congress appropriate adequate funds for the construction of his famed wall at the U.S.–Mexico border, to no avail. Democrats left him little choice but to declare a national emergency and use his executive authority to shift previously appropriated funds around for that purpose.
Predictably, Democrats and establishment Republicans cried foul at the move — and now, the Senate has (for the second time in six months) voted on a resolution to end the national emergency.
Just like the first attempt, however, President Trump will likely veto this move and the national emergency will continue unabated.
Senatorial temper tantrum
Breitbart reported that the Senate bill, known as S.J. Res. 54, was sponsored by two Democrats and one Republican: Tom Udall and Jeanne Shaheen — two Democrats from New Mexico and New Hampshire, respectively — and Republican Susan Collins of Maine.
The resolution, which called for an immediate termination of the national emergency declared in February by Trump, passed the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 54–41, with nearly a dozen Republicans joining their Democratic comrades to counter the president’s lawful effort at better securing the southern border.
Ostensibly at issue in the resolution was the Senate’s opposition to Trump using his emergency powers — legislatively delegated him by Congress — to shift unused military construction funds from projects that had been canceled or delayed by the Defense Department toward the border wall.
But in reality, the resolution was little more than a legislative temper tantrum by senators upset that Trump had found a way to sidestep their obstinate obstructionism and prevail in his quest for border wall funding. And the Dems even used Republicans’ support of the military as a bargaining chip.
Repeating the same “show vote”
“A vote for the president today is a vote in favor of cutting money for our military and slashing support for critical military projects in red states as well as blue,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the Senate floor on Wednesday, according to Politico. “My Republican colleagues should vote to terminate the emergency declaration today on constitutional grounds.”
While Schumer’s faux appeal to military families and funding may have succeeded in convincing a handful of Republicans to stand in opposition to the president, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called out the whole ordeal for exactly what it was: a meaningless “show vote” that will inevitably be vetoed by the president.
“Still unwilling to work with the president and Republicans on a long-term bipartisan solution for border security, Senate Democrats are making us repeat the same show vote again,” McConnell said. “I would urge my colleagues to vote for border security.”
A fruitless effort
As McConnell pointed out, this vote, forced by Democrats, was done for show and is utterly meaningless in the big picture. Indeed, it never really had a chance to succeed at stopping the declared national emergency, given the likelihood of a veto and the fact that there is not a two-thirds majority that will vote to override a veto.
As he did in March when Schumer first pitched a fit, Trump will surely veto this resolution and send it back to the Senate, where it will simply wither away until it is possibly resurrected by Schumer in another six months to repeat this meaningless process all over again.