Path to Trump’s Border Wall Narrows as Republicans Balk at Emergency Declaration – The New York Times

Any senator from either party could then demand a vote, because the resolution would be deemed “privileged.” Mr. McConnell told Mr. Trump that he would have no choice but to schedule a floor vote on the measure within 15 days, and Republican aides have estimated that between three and 10 Republicans would side with the chamber’s Democrats against Mr. Trump.

That would force the president into a politically costly effort to keep the Senate from overriding his veto of the resolution, even as Democrats moved to block him in the courts.

“He’s been talking about all this for a month, in front of the cameras,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Mr. McConnell, who played down the exchange.

The leader delivered a similar message to Vice President Mike Pence and the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, three weeks ago during negotiations to reopen the government. Since then, both men have counseled the president to move cautiously on the emergency declaration, according to a senior administration official.

Democrats have begun drafting legislation that would remove the president’s ability to shift money from one project to another. Representative John Garamendi, Democrat of California, would repeal a line in the 1986 Water Resources Development Act that grants the president authority to use civil works money to respond to a national emergency.

Administration officials struck a defiant note on Monday, saying the president needed the threat of a declaration to pressure Ms. Pelosi.

“The Congress has failed to do its job — this Congress, last Congress and for quite a while to make sure that we have what we need at the southern border, which of course the centerpiece is a physical barrier, wall, steel slats,” Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, told reporters.

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