Republican Senators have been working with the White House on an agreement to amend the National Emergencies Act in hopes of swaying some towards voting against blocking President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration and sidestepping a fight with the president on the matter, according to The Hill.
The idea of amending the National Emergencies Act garnered attention from Senate Republicans after President Trump declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border last month to secure funding for his proposed border wall. GOP senators have been deliberating on a deal with the White House to limit the president’s power to invoke future national emergencies through the act.
Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said that he thinks “there are some” senators who “would feel comfortable in the end voting against the resolution as long as they could point to that actually is modernizing the underlying statue.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, said that he also believes “there’s a hope that” a deal amending the act would make for another outcome on the resolution vote.
So far, four GOP senators — Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have already come out in support of the measure to block the president’s national emergency declaration, putting the total count of senators supporting the measure at 51, enough to pass the resolution.
If the resolution passes the Senate, it will head to the president’s desk where he has declared his intention to use his first veto on it.
Watch his declaration below:
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
Tillis reportedly told The Hill that getting a deal on the National Emergencies Act would change his vote.
His doing so would drop the vote count to a 50-50 split, bringing in Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding vote. Pence — who reportedly met with Tillis and a handful of other Senate Republicans on Tuesday — has been calling on GOP senators to stand with the president on the issue.