Rand Paul of Kentucky said he'll vote to block President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency on the U.S. -Mexico border, which would probably provide enough votes for the measure to pass the Senate and draw Trump's first veto.
"We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn't authorize it", Paul said. "If we take away those checks and balances, it's a unsafe thing", he added.
Paul is joined by Sens. With all members of the Democratic caucus apparently backing the resolution, there should be enough votes for the Republican-controlled chamber to reject the president's action. But Alexander has declined to say how he would vote on the disapproval resolution.
Trump declared a national emergency last month in a maneuver that would allow him to siphon funds from the military construction budget to pay for a wall on the southern border, a signature issue of his presidential campaign.
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During an event in Kentucky over the weekend, Paul explained that he will vote to support a resolution that seeks to overturn Trump's declaration.
But Congress does not appear to have the 2/3 majority needed to override his veto - meaning Trump's declaration could stay in place.
That money would be tapped after the administration exhausts funding from other sources, including $1.375 billion provided by Congress; $2.5 billion from a Pentagon counter-drug account that the administration can access without an emergency declaration; and $601 million from a forfeiture fund in the Treasury Department.
"I think that really it's a very unsafe thing for people to be voting against border security", Trump said. In recent months, Paul has made a concerted effort to bend the president's ear on foreign policy and has praised Trump's efforts at ending America's decades-long conflicts in the Middle East-though he also broke with the White House by voting against the confirmation of Attorney General William Barr. The emergency declaration is an obvious end-run around Congress and could set a precedent to be exploited by future presidents eager to spend money on projects not approved by Congress.
Trump has previously said that he would veto the measure.