President Trump brushed off the impending rejection of his national border wall emergency Thursday, downplaying the almost certain defection of significant numbers of Republicans.
“I don’t know what the vote will be. I will probably have to veto it,” Trump said on CNN.
The Senate is expected to disapprove the president’s declaration of the national emergency he is using to shift money to build parts of his coveted wall on the southern border.
The only question is how many Republicans rebel.
Trump rejected an attempt by Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and other conservatives Wednesday to restrict future emergency declarations. In return, more of them would have stood by Trump on this one.
Lee declared soon after that he would join at least four other Republicans who had already said they would turn on Trump’s wall emergency, including Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), and Thom Tillis (N.C.).
Many others have expressed serious doubts, as well, but there appeared to be far too few to override the president’s promised veto. It would take 20 GOP defections to overturn a veto in the Senate. After Trump’s rejection of the conservative offer, it still remains unclear how close Republicans will come to that number.
More broadly, Trump’s defeat will mark the second in two days. The Senate voted Wednesday for a resolution to end U.S. support for Saudia Arabia in the the civil war in Yemen. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in that vote.
Trump, who did not have to veto anything in his first two years with the GOP in charge of all of Congress, has also promised to veto the Yemen resolution after it is passed by the House.