This week: Trump set for Senate setback on emergency declaration

The Senate is set to reject President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg: ‘I have more years of government experience under my belt’ than Trump Tucker Carlson says he won’t apologize for comments in resurfaced radio interview Buttigieg calls Pence ‘cheerleader for the porn star presidency’ MORE’s emergency declaration to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall, paving the way for a veto showdown with the White House.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop McConnell spokesman to join Global Automakers Michelle Malkin digs in on jab at ‘the ghost of John McCain’ Most 2020 Dems reject socialism label MORE (R-Ky.) hasn’t officially scheduled a vote, but the chamber is expected to take up the measure before Congress leaves town for a week-long recess.

A House-passed resolution of disapproval has enough support to pass the Senate, with at least four Republicans expected to join with all 47 Democrats to vote for it and roughly a dozen more undecided.

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Some senators have predicted the number of GOP supporters backing the resolution could hit double digits, which would mark an embarrassing political setback for Trump after he urged Republicans to remain “united” in opposition to a resolution of disapproval.

Trump has pledged to use the first veto of his presidency to block the resolution terminating his emergency declaration. The wall was a key campaign promise for Trump and is still a potent issue for the party’s base.

“He’s going to veto this and then his veto will sustained. They will not be able to override the veto,” Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoWe should end tax giveaways to electric vehicle owners Overnight Energy: McConnell plans Green New Deal vote before August recess | EPA official grilled over enforcement numbers | Green group challenges Trump over Utah pipelines McConnell plans vote on Green New Deal before August recess MORE (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican senator, said during an interview with Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures.

Democratic leadership has urged Republicans to override Trump’s veto but neither chamber appears to have the two-thirds support necessary to do so successfully, with the emergency declaration instead expected to play out in a lengthy court battle.

Republicans are still trying to craft alternative language as they hunt for a more palatable option than the House resolution, which passed that chamber with the support of 13 Republicans. Senators left town on Thursday without resolving their floor strategy, with anything from amending the House resolution to offering a separate proposal still on the table.

Republican senators continue to look for a way that encourages the president to look for alternatives,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, said late last week after a closed-door caucus lunch.

Republicans are exploring ways Trump could get $5.7 billion for the wall without declaring a national emergency, a controversial step that has rankled traditional GOP allies on Capitol Hill.

One idea being explored by Republicans is trying to expand the amount of money Trump is reshuffling from the Pentagon’s counter-drug fund, a move that does not require a national emergency. Republicans are also mulling legislation that would make it easier for Congress to end a national emergency, including requiring that Congress vote to continue it after a certain period of time.

“I’m working with my colleagues to fashion legislation next week that will address that, that will make sure we get the funding we need to build the wall we need but not in a way that violates constitutional responsibility,” Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump’s ‘due process’ remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (R-Pa.) told a Pennsylvania radio station last week.

Though Republicans have been wary of breaking with Trump on border security, they are also concerned that he’s setting a legal precedent that could be used by a future Democratic president to force through policies on issues like climate change or gun control.

Trump’s budget

Trump will start rolling out his budget for the 2020 fiscal year on Monday, setting up another clash with Congress over the wall.

Trump is expected to request $8.6 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall, which will be used to build or replace roughly 700 miles of barrier.

Democrats immediately rejected the amount, warning that Trump would force another government shutdown if he demanded the border wall funding.

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“President Trump hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos when he recklessly shut down the government to try to get his expensive and ineffective wall, which he promised would be paid for by Mexico,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerO’Rourke teases ‘big announcement’ amid 2020 speculation Murkowski, Manchin call for ‘responsible solutions’ to climate change Overnight Health Care – Presented by Kidney Care Partners – FDA chief Scott Gottlieb resigns | House Dems to take up drug pricing bills next week | Planned Parenthood, doctors group sue over Trump abortion rule MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiPelosi, Schumer push back on new Trump demand for wall funding: ‘We hope he learned his lesson’ Five things to watch for in Trump’s 2020 budget Democrats hurting themselves with handling of Ilhan Omar controversy MORE (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement.

“Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government.  The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again,” they added. “We hope he learned his lesson.”

In addition to a battle over the border wall, Trump is expected to fight with lawmakers over his plans to dramatically increase the amount of overseas contingency operation (OCO) money, a defense fund that is not subjected to budget caps, as well as cuts to non-defense spending.

Trump’s proposal won’t become law, with White House budgets largely viewed as political documents that lay out an administration’s priorities. But he will need to work out a deal on topline spending levels for defense and nondefense before Oct. 1 or sequestration will go into effect.

Administration officials — including acting OMB director Russell Vought, acting Defense secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanTrump’s emergency declaration looms over Pentagon funding fight House Dems demand Pentagon provide details about plans to fund Trump border wall Colorado congressional delegation, governor ask Pentagon for Space Command base MORE, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin — will head to Capitol Hill this week to defend Trump’s budget request.

Mueller

The House is slated to take up a Democrat-backed nonbinding resolution calling on Department of Justice officials to publicly release special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The House Rules Committee is expected to meet on the resolution Monday evening. The measure will then head to the floor in subsequent days.

The resolution comes after Attorney General William Barr, who has opted not to recuse himself from the investigation, would not commit to releasing the final report to the public during his confirmation hearing. Though Barr has pledged to let Mueller finish his investigation, he has sparked backlash because of a memo he drafted criticizing the Russia probe. 

The measure’s text calls for the report to be “made available to the public and to Congress,” arguing there is “overwhelming public interest” in its content and that it should be released in full “except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law.”

House committee chairmen could potentially subpoena the report if DOJ opts not to release it to the public.  

“As the Department of Justice made clear over the last two years, DOJ policy permits disclosure of investigative materials when it serves the public interest, even as they pertain to ‘uncharged third parties,’”  House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPresident Trump should not underestimate Jerry Nadler House heads down wrong path to impeachment with investigations Tlaib to join protest calling for Trump impeachment MORE (D-N.Y.), Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff: ‘Mistake’ if Trump doesn’t testify under oath in Russia investigation Schiff: Erik Prince did not disclose 2016 Trump Tower meeting to Intelligence Committee The Memo: Team Trump insists Dem probes could ‘boomerang’ MORE (D-Calif.), Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Dems inch closer to demanding Trump’s tax returns | Consumer chief pressed to undo Mulvaney’s work | IRS says average tax refund up Ocasio-Cortez accuses GOP of targeting female Democrats Maxine Waters to Trump: ‘Are you still in love with Kim?’ MORE (D-Calif.), Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealThe Memo: Team Trump insists Dem probes could ‘boomerang’ House passes bill to require presidents to disclose their tax returns On The Money: Dems inch closer to demanding Trump’s tax returns | Consumer chief pressed to undo Mulvaney’s work | IRS says average tax refund up MORE (D-Mass,) and Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelDems struggle to turn page on Omar controversy House passes anti-hate measure amid Dem tensions Democrats tweak anti-hate resolution to include additional groups MORE (D-N.Y.)  said in a statement.

“The public is clearly served by transparency with respect to any investigation that could implicate or exonerate the President and his campaign. We urge our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join us in supporting this common sense resolution.”

DREAM Act

Rep. Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardWhy are Trump and Congress avoiding comprehensive immigration reform? Big labor renews calls for immigration reform How the border deal came together MORE (D-Calif.) is expected to reintroduce the DREAM Act, which would provide permanent legal protections and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children on Tuesday.

House Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to force for a vote on the measure, which would provide protections for millions of immigrants residing in the U.S., in 2017 via a discharge petition under the then-Republican-controlled chamber.

Passing the legislation is a top priority for Democrats in the House. The bill will likely face an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate, where it would need 60 votes to pass.

VAWA

The House is expected to act swiftly to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act  (VAWA) in the coming days. Congress allowed VAWA, which provides funding and grants for a variety of programs that tackle domestic abuse, to lapse in February after a provision in a must-pass spending bill that would have extended it was left on the chopping block.

The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe Hill’s Morning Report – Pelosi’s challenge: Getting Dems back on same page Dems under fire put brakes on Omar resolution Kamala Harris: Attention surrounding Omar puts her at risk MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickEight Republicans side with Dems on background checks for gun sales House passes bill expanding background checks on gun sales House slated to vote on most significant gun control bill in years MORE (R-Pa.), was introduced last Thursday.

“With this bill, we are empowering law enforcement and helping stop abusers and stalkers from obtaining firearms,” Pelosi said at a press conference following its introduction.

“We’re supporting survivors with protections against discrimination in the workplace and unjust evictions.  And we are strengthening protections, again, for Native American women because every woman everywhere has the right to live free from abuse. We urge all Members to join us in strong, bipartisan support for this bill.”

Nominations

McConnell has teed up another slate of Trump nominees, including a successor for Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughHolder says next Dem president should consider packing courts Senate readies vote on Kavanaugh successor Fox’s Kurtz defends network’s news division after DNC debate rejection MORE’s seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

McConnell has filed cloture on Paul Matey’s nomination to be a judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Neomi Rao’s nomination to be an appeals judge for the D.C. Circuit and William Beach’s Labor Department nomination.

Rao, who serves as Trump’s regulatory czar, was grilled by Democrats and Republicans during her hearing about controversial college writings including a 1994 opinion piece for The Yale Herald in which she appeared to argue that women are partially to blame for sexual assault.

Rao wrote at the time that if a woman “drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was a part of her choice.”

thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/scheduling/433438-this-week-trump-set-for-senate-setback-on-emergency-declaration

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