Pence, GOP discuss offer to kill Trump emergency disapproval resolution
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Pence, GOP discuss offer to kill Trump emergency disapproval resolution

On February 15, Trump declared a national emergency to bypass congressional approval and secure funding for the construction of his controversial wall. Less than two weeks after the declaration, lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted to revoke it despite veto threats by the White House. The Democratic-controlled chamber blocked the declaration by a margin of 245-182, however, falling short of overriding the possibility of a presidential veto. Now, under a deal Pence and GOP senators plan to reach, Trump would sign legislation reining in his power to declare future national emergencies if they defeat the resolution of disapproval, according to GOP sources briefed on the matter. Killing the resolution on the Republican-controlled Senate floor would save the president from a major embarrassment and prevent him from having to issue the first veto of his presidency. GOP senators are, however, doubtful whether Trump will actually go through with it. Besides, the plan stands little chance of succeeding as a bill to curb the president’s power to declare national emergencies will not come to the Senate floor until after the March recess is over. The deal was discussed on Tuesday in a meeting attended by Pence and a group of Republicans, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who sponsored the legislation to curb the president’s national emergency declaration power, as well as Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). Under Lee’s measure, Congress would have to vote to extend a national emergency declaration after a period of 30 days. Senate Republicans familiar with the offer say Trump needs to make an ironclad promise to sign Lee’s bill in order to flip Republicans who currently say they plan to vote for the resolution of disapproval. Trump, however, has not made any such promises so far, leaving the whole process in limbo. Pence too made “no commitment,” according to a White House official familiar with the meeting. Pence said he would be “happy to bring their concerns to the president but made zero commitments,” added the official. The official also said that Tillis requested the meeting, noting the senators “pitched the VP a proposal” and that “he listened and said he’d take it to POTUS.” The vice president “encouraged the senators to vote against the disapproval resolution and indicated a vote for it would be vote against securing our borders,” the source added.

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