Subscribe to VICE News every day in your inbox here.
The House is gearing up for a vote Tuesday to block the national emergency declaration that President Trump is trying to use to secure funding for his border wall, a move that the Washington Post calls an “unprecedented effort.”
Trump’s national emergency declaration isn’t popular with the public or lawmakers, and Trump even undercut his own case by conceding when he announced it, “I didn’t need to do this.”
Trump’s argument for a national emergency appears to be losing on three major fronts:
The politics are terrible
- An NPR poll found that 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of the emergency declaration.
- GOP leadership is scrambling to keep its rank-and-file members in line, and several Republicans have said they’ll vote with the Democrats.
- At least 10 Republicans in the House are either undecided or voting with the Dems, The Hill reports.
- In the Senate, Dems need just four Republicans to send the resolution to the president’s desk. They already have two: North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who said he’s voting against the emergency even though he supports Trump’s border agenda, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
The law is likely not on Trump’s side
- Trump’s own words and tweets could be used against him in court. It’s a legal quagmire for the president to get his wall funding through an emergency declaration designed to do an end run around Congress.
- Sixteen states sued the Trump administration as soon as his declaration dropped.
- On Monday, 59 former national security advisers, who served under both Democrats and Republicans, penned an open letter arguing there is nothing resembling a national emergency on the border:
We have lived and worked through national emergencies, and we support the president’s power to mobilize the executive branch to respond quickly in genuine national emergencies. But under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a genuine national emergency today that entitles the president to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border.
Congress has been putting more checks on Trump
That’s happened particularly on foreign policy, where congressional Democrats and Republicans still manage to find some common ground.
- Earlier this month, lawmakers voted to end U.S. military support for the war in Yemen, bucking the president.
- They also put checks on Trump’s plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Yemen.
The president has remained unpopular beyond his committed base. Republicans in Congress might be starting to notice and they could start breaking ranks on things, particularly policies that hurt them in their own districts.
Cover image: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a trade meeting with Liu He, China's vice premier and director of the central leading group of the Chinese Communist Party, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. (Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images