Senator Roy Blunt’s vote against President Donald Trump’s border emergency declaration has been reaping consequences in his home state.
The Missouri Republican, one of 12 who sided with Democrats to block Trump’s use of emergency powers, has come under fire by voters who feel he betrayed them and was recently disinvited from the local Christian County GOP event next month, The Kansas City Star reported.
After the local party committee’s events chair initially expressed anger at Blunt’s vote and rescinded his invitation to attend the event in Ozark, the offer was extended again, according to KOLR10 News.
Annual Lincoln Day events are held in the state which saw Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 with 57 percent to 38 percent of the votes. The planned Republican event in the staunchly pro-Trump county has been named the Lincoln/Trump Day Dinner, reflecting the strong support of the president.
And Wanda Martens, a member of the Christian County Republican Central Committee, was not about to let Blunt cast a shadow on the honor accorded to the president.
“I am so disappointed in you now that I can hardly speak,” Martens wrote in a scathing email to Blunt’s office.
“Why could you not support my president in the emergency declaration? President Trump tried every available means to work the Senate to resolve the border issue and build the much-needed wall. He is well within his presidential powers to do this,” she wrote, according to the Kansas City Star.
Martens reportedly assumed Blunt would back Trump in the congressional battle over funding for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and did not make calls to urge him to vote in Trump’s favor. In her anger, she did not want Blunt anywhere near the GOP event set for April 6.
“Please don’t try to tell me that I don’t understand. I understand completely,” Martens wrote. “I hate it when someone calls you the establishment and that you are part of the swamp, but maybe they were right.”
Not all committee members shared Martens’ outrage.
“I think that we absolutely need to stand by the people who we send to Washington. We don’t have to agree on policy,” Chuck Branch, the central committee member who initially invited Blunt, said. “Taking it to a personal level of not inviting him to a Republican event seems to be crossing a line in my view.”
Blunt was reportedly against setting a precedent that would enable potential executive overreach by future presidents, regardless of party.
“The same principle should apply regardless of which party occupies the White House,” the fourth-ranking Republican in the Senate and senior member of the appropriations committee, had indicated in his statement on the resolution which Trump vetoed last week.
My statement on the emergency declaration resolution of disapproval pic.twitter.com/cVOMVBODpn
— Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) March 14, 2019
“There is an emergency declaration available. Presidents have used it about 58 times since 1976 when it was put into effect,” Blunt said on KCMO’s Pete Mundo Morning Show last week. “But no president has ever used it this way, where (you) ask the Congress to do something, go through that whole constitutional process and then when you don’t get what you ask for that way, just decide, ‘Well, it’s an emergency.’”
But conservatives blasted the GOP lawmaker for being part of what former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee dubbed the “Dirty Dozen.”
‘Dirty Dozen’: The 12 Senate Republicans who voted against Trump’s national emergency on the border https://t.co/jihZybkm0C
— V Rantala 🕵️♀️ Conservative (@VicRantala) March 15, 2019
“I used to support Blunt. I just can’t do it anymore,” 74-year-old Kansas City retiree, John Adams, told the Kansas City Star, adding that he “absolutely felt betrayed.”
“I’m sorry. He’s not supporting my president in the way that I anticipated,” he added.
After all the drama over Blunt’s invitation to Christian County’s Lincoln Day celebration, it seems the senator will not be attending anyway. He was already committed to attend Camden County’s event, according to KOLR News.