AP NEWS

Rand Paul to oppose Donald Trump border emergency declaration

March 3, 2019

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says he will back a resolution that blocks President Trump’s declaration of an emergency at the southern U.S. border, giving it the votes needed to pass but not enough to turn back a presidential veto.

Mr. Paul, a Republican, announced his decision during a Saturday speech at Western Kentucky University, 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,” Mr. Paul said. “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 joins Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Thom Tillis of North Carolina and 47 Democrats in backing the disapproval measure, giving it majority support.

The House already moved to overturn Mr. Trump’s declaration. The 245-182 vote was a major rebuke of the president, though there was there’s more than enough GOP support to sustain his veto.

A similar scenario is now set to play out when the Senate votes this month.

Mr. Trump declared an emergency to shift around federal funds and build his U.S.-Mexico border wall, after Congress didn’t give him the amount he wanted. He says the wall is needed to thwart drugs and deter illegal immigrants.

Democrats and some Republicans say it’s a power grab that skirts Congress’ constitutional power over the nation’s purse strings.