Ten Senate Republicans joined their Democrat colleagues Thursday in voting unsuccessfully to try and override a veto by President Donald Trump.
Late last month, these same Republicans voted in favor of a Democrat-crafted resolution to nullify the president’s border-security-linked emergency declaration. Declared in February, the emergency allowed the president to funnel government funds toward the construction of a border wall along the vulnerable southern U.S. border.
In response to the vote, the president simply vetoed the measure. But instead of taking a hint, the GOP-led Senate chose on Thursday to try and override the president’s veto.
“The vote was 53 to 36. … That fell short, as expected, of the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto,” The Washington Post reported. “But 10 Republicans voted with Democrats on the measure, reflecting the unease many within the GOP have with Trump’s approach.”
The ten “RINOs” were named by Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs later that evening as follows:
- Sen. Roy Blunt
- Sen. Susan Collins
- Sen. Mike Lee
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski
- Sen. Rand Paul
- Sen. Rob Portman
- Sen. Mitt Romney
- Sen. Marco Rubio
- Sen. Pat Toomey
- Sen. Roger Wicker
(Source: Fox Business Network)
While some of the names provoked no shock — including Romney, who’s perpetually been at war with the administration ever since he first back-stabbed Trump after winning retired Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat in Utah with Trump’s help — others did inspire some raised eyebrows.
Take Mike Lee, who rose to power in 2010 with the backing of the Tea Party. Yet despite being a staunch conservative, he’s stood in opposition to the president’s national emergency declaration since day one on the ostensible basis that it’s an overreach of executive power.
“Lee objected to Trump’s use of executive authority to divert funding for the construction of a border wall,” the Salt Lake Tribune reported when the GOP-led Senate first tried to nullify the president’s emergency declaration (Trump vetoed that resolution as well.)
“But he said he’s less concerned with that particular declaration than the underlying question of whether and when a president can sidestep Congress on government spending.”
“It’s probably not a good idea to give presidents that much power,” Lee maintained.
But he then turned around and admitted that, while he supports improving border security, he’s “agnostic” on the idea of resolving the problem with a border wall.
While critical of the president over the emergency declaration, Lee has been supportive of his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria:
Thank you, President Trump, for withdrawing U.S. military personnel from Syria. Undeclared wars are as unconstitutional as they are inadvisable. Those who disagree with this decision should ask Congress to declare war or otherwise authorize the use of military force.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) October 8, 2019
The ongoing feud between the president and his Democrat and “RINO” detractors is slated to grow worse as the next budget deadline draws nearer.
“Trump is not interested in signing other domestic spending bills until there is agreement on the border wall, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential deliberations,” the Post noted.
“Funding for many federal agencies expires Nov. 21, and an impasse would lead to a sizable government shutdown, bigger in scope than what happened less than one year ago.”
An unnamed administration official who spoke with the Post claimed that Democrats have only two options: Either grant Trump the additional border wall funding he desires, or watch as he uses his emergency declaration to move around more money.
“The official said that the White House priority in budget negotiations is to ensure the president can complete the promised border wall, and that the president is committed to having the resources available in the 2020 budget year to do so,” the Post’s report concluded.
In an update provided around the middle of last month, a Defense Department spokesperson revealed that approximately one mile of the wall is being built daily and that the goal is to complete 450 to 500 miles by the end of the president’s first term in office.
Another update issued at the end of the month by U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealed that the agency had just awarded three contracts to have a wall built in the extremely “busy” Rio Grande Valley.
CBP, in partnership w/ @USACEHQ, has awarded 3 contracts to construct up to 65 miles of new border wall system within USBP’s RGV Sector. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2020 and will take place in locations where no barriers currently exist. More: https://t.co/LQp8hDE6gW pic.twitter.com/TpOaYhKSkT
— CBP (@CBP) September 30, 2019
“The border wall system will include an 18-30 foot tall steel bollard wall, all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other related technology to create a complete enforcement zone,” the update read. “Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2020, pending availability of real estate, and will take place in locations where no barriers currently exist.”
Why the Rio Grande Valley? Because it accounts for much of the illegal activity seen along the border.
“RGV is the busiest Sector in the nation and accounts for approximately 40% of the illegal alien apprehensions and, for the FY to date, ranks first in seized cocaine and marijuana along the southwest border,” the updated added. “The majority of its activity is occurring in areas where RGV has limited infrastructure, access and mobility, and technology.”
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