Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) claims he supports the president on border security but will vote for the resolution to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration.
As the House of Representatives is set to vote on the resolution on Tuesday in an effort to end the president’s national emergency on securing the border, the North Carolina senator is standing with Democrats — due to fear of the precedent it would set for future Democratic presidents.
In a Washington Post op-ed with the headline, “I support Trump’s vision on border security. But I would vote against the emergency,” Tillis explains that “the president can count on me to help” in improving border security, including physical barriers, but the declaration is “not the right answer”:
Conservatives rightfully cried foul when President Barack Obama used executive action to completely bypass Congress and unilaterally provide deferred action to undocumented adults who had knowingly violated the nation’s immigration laws. Some prominent Republicans went so far as to proclaim that Obama was acting more like an “emperor” or “king” than a president.
There is no intellectual honesty in now turning around and arguing that there’s an imaginary asterisk attached to executive overreach — that it’s acceptable for my party but not thy party.
Tillis claims the precedent that Trump is setting with his declaration “will lead inevitably” to a future Democratic president to call a national emergency “to advance a policy that couldn’t gain congressional approval.”
“As a U.S. senator, I cannot justify providing the executive with more ways to bypass Congress,” Tillis wrote. “As a conservative, I cannot endorse a precedent that I know future left-wing presidents will exploit to advance radical policies that will erode economic and individual freedoms.”
The resolution to end the national emergency declaration is expected to pass in the House easily, as the House is led by Democrats. However, there’s uncertainty as to what will happen in the Republican-led Senate. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said they would likely vote for the resolution, with Tillis becoming the latest Republican to back it.