The San Diego Union-Tribune: Republicans should heed Rand Paul, stand up for the Constitution
The news that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will join three other Republicans and all Senate Democrats in opposing President Donald Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency” at the southern border means that the measure that passed the House on Feb. 26 will likely reach Trump’s desk. He has already promised to veto it, and an override requiring two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate seems highly unlikely.
Depressingly, 49 of 53 Senate Republicans and 182 of 197 House Republicans seem OK with Trump flouting the constitutional requirement that spending bills be approved by Congress.
Which means Trump’s plan to divert $6.6 billion in Pentagon and Treasury Department funding to build a border wall without a congressional OK will proceed.
This is a shocking sign of the blinders the GOP has put on in the Trump era. Paul couldn’t be more correct when he says: “I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress. … If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.”
Thankfully, it’s hard to imagine Chief Justice John Roberts (or any judge who values the Constitution) will accept the president’s power grab. But Congress should check Trump on its own, for the good of the country.
Republicans who decried President Barack Obama’s executive power abuse can use the same arguments they did against him.
It will take up to 45 more Republicans in the House and 16 more in the Senate to override Trump’s veto, and that is a lot. But at least they’ll have to reconsider. And those who won’t will fail the Constitution.
— The San Diego Union-Tribune