Toomey votes to block Trump emergency declaration, calls it a ‘very dangerous precedent’

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey opposes the president’s unilateral trade war isn’t just because it’s hitting Pennsylvania manufacturers hard – but also because it’s hitting everyday shoppers. (Jared Wickerham/AP Photo)

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey opposes the president’s unilateral trade war isn’t just because it’s hitting Pennsylvania manufacturers hard – but also because it’s hitting everyday shoppers. (Jared Wickerham/AP Photo)

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania was among 12 Republicans voted to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to fund expanding the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The senate rejected Trump’s emergency 59 to 41.

Toomey, who supports funding for the wall, says he fears such emergency powers will be misused in the future if this one is allowed to stand.

“It undermines a very important principle of our Constitution — the separation of powers and specifically the power for Congress to determine how government money is spent and it also sets a very dangerous precedent when it comes to future presidents,” said Toomey, who added that he did not receive strong pushback from the White House when he made his intentions known.

Toomey says he is still in favor expanding the border wall, but thinks Congress should vote to fund it.

While the measure passed by a comfortable margin, it was not a veto-proof majority. Trump has promised a veto.

“I’ll do a veto. It’s not going to be overturned,” Trump told reporters. “It’s a border security vote.”

He did not answer when reporters asked if there would be consequences for Republicans who voted against him.

But a White House official said Trump won’t forget when senators want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations.


WHYY’s Tom MacDonald contributed reporting.

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