Senate Republicans and Democrats are teaming up to introduce Senate legislation to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) initially introduced the resolution on Thursday, with Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) as co-sponsors.
This comes after a 245 to 182 House vote last Tuesday to block Trump’s national emergency declaration.
In a press conference last month addressing the emergency declaration, Trump explained this was not a necessary move, confessing, “I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”
Under the provisions of the declaration, $8 billion dollars would go towards funding the wall, $6.6 billion more than Congress has approved. This money would include $3.6 billion that would be stripped from military construction, forcing the U.S. military to indefinitely delay some projects and potentially cancel others.
Trump’s declaration has also been criticized by Republicans who have not yet joined the latest push to overturn the move. One of Trump’s Republican detractors is Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who expressed his disapproval of taking military funding during a floor speech on Thursday.
“Using funds already approved by Congress avoids taking money from military construction projects specifically approved by Congress for such activities as military barracks and hospitals.”
It avoids taking money for military construction projects specifically approved by Congress such as military barracks and hospitals. And it also avoids months or years of litigation, which could make it unlikely the full 234 miles are ever built.
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) February 28, 2019
The move has stirred bipartisan backlash from both Democrats and a growing number of Republicans, who believe Trump is attempting an overreach of power by attempting to bypass Congress.
Sen. Collins displayed her concerns on Thursday, stating, “The question before us is not whether to support or oppose the wall. It is not whether to support or oppose President Trump. Rather it is this: Do we want the executive branch now or in the future to hold the power that the founders deliberately entrusted to Congress?”
Bipartisan group of senators seek to halt Trump's national emergency declaration:
"Do we want the executive branch now or in the future to hold the power that the founders deliberately entrusted to Congress?” says Sen. Susan Collins. https://t.co/0PhovRpz8p pic.twitter.com/zxEZYa9lZX
— ABC News (@ABC) March 1, 2019
Collins also spoke out to reporters about Trump’s contradictory actions, according to The Hill, stating, “Keep in mind the irony of the President deciding to take money away from military construction projects, that were part of his previous budget requests.”