In a 54-41 vote on Wednesday, the Senate supported a resolution to terminate Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.
The vote marks the second time in about six months that a bipartisan group of senators rejected Trump’s attempt to use the emergency declaration to take money from military families and use it to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The vote also comes one day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump’s criminal behavior.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly claimed Mexico would pay for a border wall. When that failed to materialize, Trump demanded Congress give him billions of dollars for a wall. After Congress rejected him, Trump declared a national emergency at the border, giving himself the authority to divert money Congress appropriated to the military and use it to build a wall.
When Congress voted to reject the national emergency in March, it was unclear what military projects would see funding taken away and diverted to the wall. Over the summer, the Trump administration announced where the $3.6 billion would come from, including:
- A child care center at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, which currently has regular sewage backups;
- A new battalion complex and ambulatory care center at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina;
- Updates to Fort Huachuca in Arizona, where current working conditions are “unsafe” for troops; and
- Half a billion dollars for schools on military bases across the country and around the globe.
Even after learning where the money would be taken from, not a single Republican senator changed their vote, even those Republicans who supported Trump in the past only to find out military projects in their own state will be defunded in order to pay for a border wall.
That includes vulnerable Republicans who are facing tough reelection races in 2020.
In Arizona, Sen. Martha McSally sided with Trump and not the troops forced to work in unsafe conditions at Fort Huachuca.
In Colorado, Sen. Cory Gardner backed Trump over military families even after media reports in his home state pointed out that he “got played” by the Trump administration.
The joint resolution now heads to the House, where it will likely pass once again with a bipartisan majority. In March, Trump was forced to veto a similar resolution and is expected to do so again.
Published with permission of The American Independent.