The senator told a large crowd at the Western Kentucky University’s Augenstein Alumni Center that he would not be able to support the president’s actions because he believes it is beyond his constitutional powers.
“I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress,” Paul said according to a report by the Bowling Green Daily News. “We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.”
Paul noted that he believes allowing President Trump to move forward with this declaration would set a dangerous precedent when it comes to the checks and balances ensured by the Constitution, and Congress has the power of the purse.
“I can’t vote to give extra-Constitutional powers to the president,” said Paul.
Paul’s announcement is a game changer in that he is the fourth Republican to pull the plug on Trump’s national emergency. Senator Paul, along with Senators Thom Tillis (R-Tenn.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) also announced they could not support President Trump’s national emergency declaration.
Tillis, Murkowski, and Collins all gave a similar defense to Paul, citing the Constitutional checks and balances as the main reason they cannot support the president moving forward.
Because Republicans only have 53 seats in the Senate, Pauls vote likely means that the bill to prevent President Trump from moving forward with the national emergency will pass the Senate. The bill already passed in the Democrat-controlled House.
President Trump has already promised to veto the bill, however. Although this would be the first veto of his presidency, he is not concerned about Democrats overriding his veto.
President Trump on resolution blocking his national emergency: "Will I veto it? 100%. 100%. And I don't think it survives a veto. We have too many smart people that want border security so I can't imagine it could survive a veto. But I will veto it. Yes." https://t.co/u44qQ6cAI5 pic.twitter.com/wMMF6rY3wr
— The Hill (@thehill) February 23, 2019
“On the wall? Will I veto it? One-hundred percent. One-hundred percent, and I don’t think it survives a veto. We have too many smart people that want border security, so I can’t imagine that it could survive a veto.”
Democrats would need to get two-thirds of each chamber to override President Trump’s veto.