Game Over: McConnell Concedes Pelosi Has Outmaneuvered Trump on Border Wall
News crossed the wires last night that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has conceded the battle to stop a Congressional resolution to disapprove of - and end - Donald Trump’s fake border emergency.
Four senate Republicans have now announced that they will vote with Democrats to block Trump’s move, and that puts the count at 51, enough to pass. As I explained on the day of Trump’s illegal emergency declaration, the Senate’s usual 60-vote threshold for ending debate on legislation doesn’t apply to Congressional review of presidential declarations under the National Emergencies Act. McConnell also does not have his usual power over the Senate calendar, since the law requires the remaining body in Congress to act within 18 days of one body passing such a resolution.
The House passed its resolution blocking Trump’s declaration a week ago.
Trump is expected to veto the resolution, of course, and there does not appear to be enough votes to overturn it. However, such a veto will mark the first time Trump has ever had to exercise that power, underlining the defeat of Mitch McConnell, who, until now, has always managed to scuttle legislation that Trump didn’t like, whether or not it had enough votes to pass. With this vote, for a moment at least, Congress will have stopped relinquishing its power to write and pass legislation to the president. For the first time in Trump’s time at the White House, both and his lackeys in Congress are powerless to stop something from getting to his desk.
But that isn’t all. Donald Trump’s veto of the legislation will set up a second vote in the House to overturn the veto, putting House Republicans on the record a second time on Trump’s fake emergency.
For Speaker Pelosi, the Congressional resolution to put Republicans on the spot and outmaneuver McConnell and Trump is just one battle in a multiprong fight against the unconstitutional, racist, fake emergency to try to conduct an end-run around Congressional appropriations. The Speaker declared that Trump will face opposition in Congress, in courts, and the court of public opinion.
The Congressional fight itself is part of a broader war against Trumpian anarchy. Already, California is leading 16 states in a lawsuit against it.
And I quite suspect Pelosi is not done either. Not only can she set up votes of disapproval again and again whenever she likes, the National Emergencies Act also requires the president to report to Congress every six months, and allows Congress major oversight. There is a lot Pelosi and Democrats chairing House committees can do - both to expose the sham and to create a Congressional record making it clear that there is no emergency - which will subsequently make it easier for federal Courts to do the same.
Thank goodness for Nancy Pelosi.
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