It’s not a sign of more to come, they say.
Twelve Senate Republicans made a stark break from President Donald Trump on Thursday, voting to block his national emergency declaration in an unprecedented rebuke.
It was the second time this week that Republican lawmakers went against the president: On Wednesday, seven Republicans voted for a resolution ending US involvement in Saudi Arabia’s conflict in Yemen. Trump is expected to veto both measures.
Republicans, including some who voted against the emergency, say they see these two instances as one-off occasions.
“I think they’re really unique,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) told Vox. “The Yemen vote was based on concerns Congress had acquiesced too much executive authority when it comes to engaging in conflicts or supporting allies and obviously concerns about the humanitarian crisis, which is terrible, in Yemen. This vote is more an institutional concern about separation of powers and Congress’s prerogatives more than anything else, so I don’t [see] those as part of a larger trend.”
Both votes highlighted key splits from the president by a party that’s broadly supported him even as he’s plunged the country into a devastating government shutdown, championed the rollback of crucial environmental protection, and employed racist rhetoric to champion hardline immigration policies. As the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake points out, this isn’t the first time Republicans have signaled opposition to Trump, but it is one of the rare instances when it hasn’t been purely symbolic.
By voting in favor of a resolution terminating Trump’s national emergency, Senate Democrats and Republicans indicated, in the strongest terms, that they were effectively willing to end the emergency that helped bolster one of his key