And Rand Paul Makes Four…
The Republican senator from Kentucky, who is often an ally to Trump, refusing to back the President for all the right reasons. He’s quoted in the Bowling Green Daily News (which weirdly characterizes the pronouncement as Paul “veerying slightly off course”) as saying:
“I can’t vote to give extra-Constitutional powers to the president….I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress….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.”
We don’t see how any Member of Congress can look at it any other way. And as Paul, who was mostly complimentary of Trump during his Kentucky speech this weekend points out, this should not have anything to do with whether they agree Trump should build his wall or not. Because the President’s action in and of itself is an attack on themselves individually, the branch of government they represent (which is supposed to be equal to, not subservient to the Presidency, especially when it comes to allocation of funds), and the Constitution, which plainly lays out all of what we just said.
Trump demanded all his wall money, a bipartisan group of appropriators gave him some but not all. Throwing a fit and deciding to cut them out of the process is not only wildly reckless and disrespectful, it’s also just not how the government works.
If anyone understands this, Trump should. After all, he’s the one who plays “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at the end of every rally. Unless that’s meant to apply to everyone but him.
At a speech on Saturday before a Conservative action convention called CPAC, Trump anticipated something like this might happen. He praised Republicans in the Senate, where only 13 in his party peeled off and voted against him, although he still lost. And he attempted to head off a defeat in the Republican-controlled Senate, saying:
“A lot of people talking about precedent. That if we do this, the Democrats will use national emergency powers for something that we don’t want. They’re going to do that anyway, folks. The best way to stop that, is to make sure that I win the election.”
Here’s a clip (click on the photo to watch):
Frankly, we’re not so sure about that. President Obama pushed the limits of executive authority pretty far; not this far. And more importantly, even if a Democrat comes, disregards Congress and instead just gives Liberals things they want and like, they’ll still be perpetuating an authoritarian state, which this country is not supposed to be.
For now, if all Senate Democrats vote to block Trump, Paul will join Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Thom Tillis (NC) in opposition. And that’ll be enough. And it’s very possible a few more Republicans will join in now that it looks like they will not get caught being the deciding vote.
Politico reports Paul expressed his opposition to the President’s emergency declaration to Vice-President Mike Pence at a lunch about a week ago, but had not gone public until this weekend.
That’ll mean Trump will have to veto it if he wants to go ahead with his “emergency” action, which he’s said he will do “100%”.
And Congress probably doesn’t have the votes right now to override that veto which requires a 2/3rds majority, not even in the Democrat-controlled House, but we’ll see…