Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is one of the four Republican senators outspoken about voting against President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration on the border, but she warned Thursday that there are more who will defy the president.
“I can tell you from talking with my colleagues that many are troubled,” she said on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday morning, “even those who are the strongest supporters of the president and his views on border security.”
Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have also already said they will vote to block the emergency declaration.
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More Republicans will vote to block President Trump’s national emergency declaration over the border wall, @SenatorCollins says.
— New Day (@NewDay) March 7, 2019
The rising public — and now reportedly private — Republican opposition to the emergency declaration has shaken the president, who tweeted Wednesday pressuring Senate Republicans to “stay united.”
“Senate Republicans are not voting on constitutionality or precedent, they are voting on desperately needed Border Security & the Wall,” Trump wrote. “Our Country is being invaded with Drugs, Human Traffickers, & Criminals of all shapes and sizes. That’s what this vote is all about.”
Senate Republicans are not voting on constitutionality or precedent, they are voting on desperately needed Border Security & the Wall. Our Country is being invaded with Drugs, Human Traffickers, & Criminals of all shapes and sizes. That’s what this vote is all about. STAY UNITED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2019
Collins disagreed with the president’s sentiment. Although she said she also believed there is a crisis on the border, Collins is worried about Trump declaring power to move funds as he wishes without Congress’ permission.
“What this debate is about is whether the president of the United States can take billions of dollars that have been appropriated that he has signed into law and then repurpose them for other projects,” Collins argued Thursday.
The Maine senator said she would rather see the president submit supplemental appropriations request and work with Congress.
“I know the president feels very strongly about this issue and I too feel very strongly about border security,” she argued, adding that she has worked to fund border security measures in the Senate.
“We just cannot continent having the president unilaterally shift vast sums of money around for which he does not have the authority to do in my judgment, under the National Emergencies Act, or other laws.”
Collins joins Democratic congress members in their concern of the president abusing his powers.
“I don’t want to make Congress meaningless in the appropriations process when it is, arguably, our chief role under the Constitution.”