Friday, March 15, 2019

Senate votes to overturn Trump's emergency declaration, but our Arizona Senators were split.

12 Republican Senators like Trump’s wall - they just don’t like using his national emergency declaration to build it. Here are some details of the Senate vote.

Yesterday the U. S. Senate voted on a measure “Overturning President Trump’s emergency declaration for border wall funding.” Twelve Republican joined Democrats in voting for it thus bucking the president. Here’s how our two senators voted.

March 14
Overturning President Trump’s emergency declaration for border wall funding (59–41)
Trump: Oppose Sinema:Yes McSally:No

The same split occurred in their votes a day earlier for “Ending U.S. military assistance to Saudi-led forces in the war in Yemen.”

March 13
Ending U.S. military assistance to Saudi-led forces in the war in Yemen (54–46)
Trump: Oppose Sinema:Yes McSally:No

Tim Steller, columnist for the Daily Star explained why McSally voted the way she did. The short of it is that she’s sucking up to Trump - again.

President Trump often puts Sen. Martha McSally, the Tucson Republican, in awkward positions.

Whatever Trump does, supporting him helps ensure that McSally will win a GOP primary, or at least ensure that no Republican challenges her.

But when she supports his actions, she also makes herself vulnerable in the general election to the (now well-grounded) accusations that she’s become too chummy with a president she used to question.

McSally waited till the last minute this week before announcing a decision on whether she’d support the president’s declaration of a national emergency to build more barriers on the Mexican border.

In the end, predictably, she backed the president by voting against a measure overturning his emergency declaration. Twelve Republicans voted for the measure and against Trump’s declaration, making it a 59–41 vote that the president will probably veto.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Democrat from Phoenix, also announced at the last minute how she would vote: against the president’s emergency declaration, on the grounds that Congress had made a spending decision that the declaration undermined. She also disputed the assurances that McSally based her decision on.

I suspect that McSally was looking for a way to vote “no” Thursday. She’s long voted as a border-security hawk, and voting against Trump on this issue would practically invite a primary challenge. She found a way — by ensuring that no military construction projects in Arizona would lose their funding in order to put an extra $3.6 billion toward border-barrier construction, the purpose of the declaration.

[Here is what Steller considers to be] the most problematic part of McSally’s vote. She was one of 83 senators who voted “yes” on the spending bill that ended the threat of a second government shutdown on Feb. 14.

That bill did what Congress is supposed to do —it struck a compromise between the opposing parties on a key issue of the day, putting an additional $1.4 billion toward border barriers, rather than the extra $5.7 billion the president had wanted.

I don’t see how a member of Congress who voted for this compromise, as the vast majority did, can then go on to vote for a presidential declaration that overrides their compromise, even after receiving slippery promises about military funding.

Sure. She is banking on Trump in 2020 and almost everything she does is a bet that Trump will win that one.

Or so I think. Her voting record is 95.3% with Trump and that puts her at the third most Trumpian senator according to 538’s Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump.

But about those 12 Republicans who broke ranks? The Daily Star reports on why the 12 GOP senators join Dems to block Trump border declaration.

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania admitted: “I support what the president is trying to do. I don’t support the way the president is going about it, and to me that’s an important distinction.”

Similar sentiments were voiced by Senators Paul, Portman, Rubio, and Wicker. That’s a clear signal that when it comes down to it, these guys, the enablers, are just peachy with Trump’s wall. I suspect the same is true for the other eight. So, don’t be surprised when (1) Trump vetoes the measure overturning his emergency declaration, and (2) the Senate fails to override - if it even gets the opportunity by a floor vote.

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