Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly warned President Trump this week that declaring a national emergency to build his U.S.–Mexico border wall could create a rift in the GOP conference.
The Washington Post reported Friday that McConnell told Trump the Senate could pass a resolution disapproving the emergency declaration.
Republican sources familiar with the matter told the Post that the Senate leader and the president talked one-on-one Tuesday at the White House.
The reported meeting came amid heightened concerns that the president would declare a national emergency and deploy the military to build the border wall if Congress could not agree to allocate the funds Trump has demanded.
The White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill. McConnell’s office declined to comment to The Hill.
“I’m for whatever works, which means avoiding a shutdown and avoiding the president feeling he should declare a national emergency,” McConnell said Tuesday during his weekly news conference.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said there is “not much appetite” for an emergency declaration; while Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), an adviser to McConnell, said lawmakers are trying to “dissuade” Trump and warned he could be challenged by Congress.
Trump raised the idea of calling an emergency Friday, saying “I think there’s a good chance we’ll have to do that.”
“We will be looking at a national emergency because I don’t think anything’s going to happen,” he added, suggesting he does not believe a bipartisan conference committee will agree on the $5.7 billion he says is necessary to build the wall. “I don’t think Democrats want border security.”
Congress has until Feb. 15 to reach a deal. If lawmakers can’t reach a deal, the government will enter another partial shutdown.
According to the Post, at least six Republican senators are reportedly supportive of a disapproval resolution. The resolution would then have majority support in the Senate if all 47 Democrats signed onto the legislation. Trump would likely veto the resolution, the Post reported.
Author: Tal Axelrod