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Rand Paul's vote likely gives Senate enough to oppose national emergency declaration

Posted at 2:22 PM, Mar 03, 2019

The Senate likely now has enough votes to pass a measure blocking President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration after Sen. Rand Paul signaled his support for the resolution of disapproval.

"I can't vote to give extraconstitutional powers to the President," the Kentucky Republican said Saturday, according to the Bowling Green Daily News .

"I can't vote to give the President the power to spend money that hasn't been appropriated by Congress," Paul said, according to the newspaper. "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." He was speaking to the Warren County Republican Party.

The resolution introduced in the House passed the chamber on Tuesday, with 13 Republicans voting with Democrats.

Senate Democrats need four of their Republican colleagues to vote with them for the measure to pass there. Along with Paul, Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Thom Tillis of North Carolina have indicated they'll vote in favor of the resolution.

So unless one of the Senate's 47 Democrats unexpectedly votes against it, the resolution now has enough votes to be sent to the President's desk, where it will face a promised veto -- Trump's first in office.

Congress would then need an overwhelming majority -- two-thirds of its members -- in both chambers to overrule Trump's veto, which is unlikely.

When the Senate will vote on the resolution is unclear. It has 18 days from the day the House approved the resolution on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said the vote will occur before a recess later this month.