By Scott Wartman, Cincinnati Enquirer
Posted March 20th 2019
(PHOTO: SENATOR ROB PORTMAN R-OH)
TRUMP VETOES EMERGENCY DECLARATION RESOLUTION
Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman on broke ranks with President Donald Trump, voting to overturn the president’s declaration of a national emergency on the border.
The Senate voted 59 to 41 to reject Trump’s national emergency declaration, which the president said was needed to allow him to direct federal money to build a border wall. Portman joined 12 Republicans in voting against Trump.
” I voted to support the disapproval resolution that came before us,” Portman said on the Senate floor. “I support his goals…There’s no question we need border security.”
But the emergency declaration circumvented Congress and set a “dangerous new precedent,” said Portman, a Republican from Terrace Park.
It’s an unusual move for Portman, who’s sided with Trump 93 percent of the time, according to politics site FiveThirtyEight.com.
The resolution had already cleared the Democratic-controlled House. The White House had been scrambling to limit the number of GOP defections in the Senate.
Portman said he supports building a border wall but a national emergency is not the way to do it. He said a future president could use a national emergency to tear down the wall.
“It doesn’t mean the president can ignore Congress and substitute his own judgment for the will of the people,” Portman said, pointing out he opposed Obama’s executive action on immigration for the same reason.
Portman proposed other sources of money for $6 billion that the president could use without declaring a national emergency.
Trump didn’t seem receptive to that proposal. Soon after the Senate rebuked him on his national emergency, Trump tweeted “Veto!” then followed it up with: “I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country. I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!”
Portman acknowledged that the national emergency will likely stand after the president vetoed the Senate’s action. Enough Republicans won’t break rank to override the veto, he said.
“His veto will be sustained,” Portman said. “I know that. But I continue to hope the president uses the funds he has available to him without creating a bad precedent.”