With a potentially embarrassing Senate rebuke of President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to build a wall along the United States’ southern border looming, Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly taking a page from president’s book, and trying desperately to make a last-minute deal to avoid a full blown disaster when the Senate votes on Thursday.
According to The Hill, that deal is a tenuous agreement which would have a number of GOP senators backing off their opposition to Trump’ emergency declaration on the promise—and remember, this is a promise with Donald Trump here, so, iffy at best—that the White House would agree to sign future legislation that would limit his ability to declare national emergencies in the future.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee is currently working on legislation that would require congressional approval for any subsequent national emergency declarations lasting longer than 30 days. However, that bill is still being revised, and likely wouldn’t make it to a vote until after the Senate returns from its March break. Which means Republicans who agree to Pence’s deal would essentially have to take the Pence’s word for it that Trump himself would support the compromise.
Oh, and there’s the small matter of Trump himself not being on board yet, per the Hill:
So far, Trump himself hasn’t made any such pledges, leaving the process in limbo.
Pence made “no commitment,” according to a White House official familiar with the meeting and only said he would relay the possible deal to President Trump.
At the moment there are four Republican senators who have publicly stated they will join the 45 Democrats and two Independents who caucus with Democrats to pass legislation against the President’s national emergency declaration: Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Rand Paul, and Thom Tillis. Thirteen Republican congressmen voted with Democrats to easily pass the House’s version of the bill.
According to Rand Paul, however, there are “at least” 10 Republican senators who may vote against Trump’s wholly concocted national emergency. Should 10 senators end up opposing the White House, the Senate vote would turn an otherwise narrow loss for the White House into a much more resounding rebuke, a situation Pence seems desperate to avoid. And should even more Republicans join the Democrats, not only would the measure pass easily, but it could push it into veto-proof territory, despite the president’s promise to reject the measure once it reaches his desk.
The art of the deal, baby!