Nancy Pelosi may be able to force Republicans to vote on Trump's border emergency every 6 months

Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Mitch McConnell in 2017
(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Next week, probably on Thursday, the Senate will vote on the House's resolution to terminate the national emergency President Trump declared to build his border wall without financial authorization from Congress. Four Republicans are on the record saying they will support the resolution, and 10 more are weighing whether to vote yes, suggesting it will pass, setting up Trump's first veto.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) conceded Monday that the House resolution will succeed in the Senate (though he expects "the veto will be upheld in the House") and made clear he isn't happy about the situation. "I was one of those hoping the president would not take the national emergency route," McConnell said at an event in Louisville. "Once he decided to do that, I said I would support it, but I was hoping he wouldn't take that particular path."

Trump is still trying to avoid using his veto pen at all, tweeting Wednesday that he wants Senate Republicans to "STAY UNITED!" But the bipartisan rebuke is likely coming, and maybe coming again — and again and again, as Politico reports:

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Under the National Emergencies Act, Republicans believe Democrats will be able to bring up a disapproval vote on Trump's move to declare an emergency and seize billions from military construction every six months, according to two GOP senators briefed on parliamentary procedure in recent days. That would essentially force Trump loyalty tests every six months unless the president withdraws his national emergency declaration, according to one parliamentary interpretation provided to Republicans. [Politico]

Most Senate Republicans don't like Trump's emergency declaration but also don't want to cross Trump. If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can make them face that choice every six months, they'll have three more chances to tackle this political conundrum before the 2020 election.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.