Media predicting 'defeat' for Trump on border emergency vote

The media are already creating a narrative that, no matter the final disposition of Donald Trump's declaration of a border emergency, the president is on "the brink of defeat."

Politico's headline is extraordinarily misleading: "Trump on brink of defeat on border emergency."

Just one more Senate Republican is needed to block Trump's emergency declaration, though even critics are reluctant to buck the president.

President Donald Trump is on the verge of a bipartisan rejection of his emergency declaration at the border in what would be an embarrassing rebuke by a Congress opposed to his immigration agenda.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) on Monday night said he would join Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, along with 47 Senate Democrats to block Trump's attempts to secure billions for his border wall after lawmakers effectively stiffed him.  Now just one more GOP senator's support for a resolution to block Trump's bid would send the measure to Trump's desk and force a veto.

"Conservatives rightfully cried foul when President Barack Obama used executive action to completely bypass Congress," Tillis said in a Washington Post op-ed on Monday night.  "There is no intellectual honesty in now turning around and arguing that there's an imaginary asterisk attached to executive overreach — that it's acceptable for my party but not thy party."

Still, there is clear reluctance in the GOP to bucking Trump.

Numerous Senate Republicans say that, like Tillis, they despise Trump's decision to declare a national emergency to get additional funding for his wall.  But most aren't ready to say they will vote to block him from doing so.

The notion that Trump will be "defeated" in his efforts to declare a national emergency on the border is absurd.  It's not even clear if Congress has the authority to keep the president from declaring a national emergency about anything. 

Even if they did, practical political considerations make it a ludicrous assumption that enough Republicans will desert the president, as Trump's expected veto should be upheld easily.

So this idea that the president will not get his way on the border emergency is a media-created false narrative.

It's not a certainty that Senate Republicans will hand Trump a defeat:

Interviews on Monday with more than a dozen GOP senators who have been publicly critical of Trump's unilateral maneuver or warned him not to deploy it were cagey about their intentions for what would be a crucial vote in coming weeks on the Senate floor.

Many said they were undecided and still studying Trump's move to circumvent Congress and score billions more for the border barrier.  That suggests the resolution to block him remains just short of the simple majority needed for passage.

"It's unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the Constitution," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), one of the most vocal critics of Trump's emergency declaration.  As to how he will vote, he said: "I'm going to wait to see what the resolution says."

"I haven't even read it but I've said, 'I don't like what's happened and I certainly don't like using military money for it,'" said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

There will no doubt be a few dyed-in-the-wool anti-Trump Republicans who will refuse to vote for the resolution.  But if Senator Alexander and other doubters are undecided, there's a fair chance that most fence-sitters will vote with Trump anyway.

Although there's no chance that Trump's veto can be overridden, if Trump loses the vote in both the House and the Senate, it will damage his presidency and adversely impact his chances for re-election.  The senators know this, which is why most of them will almost certainly swallow their opposition and vote with the president.  The consequences of opposing Trump on this matter would be severe — especially from state parties who could make life uncomfortable for those opposing the president.

The Republican Party is Trump's party now.  Members of Congress will sink or swim with the president's fortunes.  As mostly practical politicians, they will add up the pros and cons and decide how to vote based on what's in their own interest.

Trump is counting on that when the issue comes to a vote.

The media are already creating a narrative that, no matter the final disposition of Donald Trump's declaration of a border emergency, the president is on "the brink of defeat."

Politico's headline is extraordinarily misleading: "Trump on brink of defeat on border emergency."

Just one more Senate Republican is needed to block Trump's emergency declaration, though even critics are reluctant to buck the president.

President Donald Trump is on the verge of a bipartisan rejection of his emergency declaration at the border in what would be an embarrassing rebuke by a Congress opposed to his immigration agenda.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) on Monday night said he would join Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, along with 47 Senate Democrats to block Trump's attempts to secure billions for his border wall after lawmakers effectively stiffed him.  Now just one more GOP senator's support for a resolution to block Trump's bid would send the measure to Trump's desk and force a veto.

"Conservatives rightfully cried foul when President Barack Obama used executive action to completely bypass Congress," Tillis said in a Washington Post op-ed on Monday night.  "There is no intellectual honesty in now turning around and arguing that there's an imaginary asterisk attached to executive overreach — that it's acceptable for my party but not thy party."

Still, there is clear reluctance in the GOP to bucking Trump.

Numerous Senate Republicans say that, like Tillis, they despise Trump's decision to declare a national emergency to get additional funding for his wall.  But most aren't ready to say they will vote to block him from doing so.

The notion that Trump will be "defeated" in his efforts to declare a national emergency on the border is absurd.  It's not even clear if Congress has the authority to keep the president from declaring a national emergency about anything. 

Even if they did, practical political considerations make it a ludicrous assumption that enough Republicans will desert the president, as Trump's expected veto should be upheld easily.

So this idea that the president will not get his way on the border emergency is a media-created false narrative.

It's not a certainty that Senate Republicans will hand Trump a defeat:

Interviews on Monday with more than a dozen GOP senators who have been publicly critical of Trump's unilateral maneuver or warned him not to deploy it were cagey about their intentions for what would be a crucial vote in coming weeks on the Senate floor.

Many said they were undecided and still studying Trump's move to circumvent Congress and score billions more for the border barrier.  That suggests the resolution to block him remains just short of the simple majority needed for passage.

"It's unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the Constitution," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), one of the most vocal critics of Trump's emergency declaration.  As to how he will vote, he said: "I'm going to wait to see what the resolution says."

"I haven't even read it but I've said, 'I don't like what's happened and I certainly don't like using military money for it,'" said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

There will no doubt be a few dyed-in-the-wool anti-Trump Republicans who will refuse to vote for the resolution.  But if Senator Alexander and other doubters are undecided, there's a fair chance that most fence-sitters will vote with Trump anyway.

Although there's no chance that Trump's veto can be overridden, if Trump loses the vote in both the House and the Senate, it will damage his presidency and adversely impact his chances for re-election.  The senators know this, which is why most of them will almost certainly swallow their opposition and vote with the president.  The consequences of opposing Trump on this matter would be severe — especially from state parties who could make life uncomfortable for those opposing the president.

The Republican Party is Trump's party now.  Members of Congress will sink or swim with the president's fortunes.  As mostly practical politicians, they will add up the pros and cons and decide how to vote based on what's in their own interest.

Trump is counting on that when the issue comes to a vote.