Trump Says Republicans ‘Overthinking’ Vote on Border Emergency

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said Republican senators are “overthinking” a vote scheduled for Thursday on a resolution to block his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.

The Senate is poised to overturn Trump’s move last month to declare a national emergency, which the White House says would enable him to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to erect new border barrier. The president made the announcement after a 35-day partial shutdown resulted in less than $1.4 billion for new border wall.

Four Republicans have publicly indicated that they will vote for the resolution rejecting the emergency declaration. Assuming all Democrats vote "yes,” that would be enough votes to block Trump’s maneuver.

The House already has passed the measure and the White House has threatened a veto, which would allow the president continued access to the military construction funds, barring a successful outside legal challenge. Democratic state attorneys general and environmental groups have already filed lawsuits to oppose Trump’s use of a national emergency to build the border wall.

The administration has also been working to convince Republicans not to support the bill. On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence met with Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina -- who has said he will vote for the measure -- and four other moderate Republican senators to discuss future legislation that could limit the White House’s ability to declare emergencies in the future.

Supporters of the president’s efforts said talk of such legislation could help persuade Republicans to nevertheless support Trump’s executive actions, despite being wary of eroding congressional powers of the purse.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said Wednesday the House wouldn’t take up any such legislation. Her refusal to do so appeared an attempt to convince wavering Republicans to stick with their plan to rebuke Trump.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.