Senate Republicans’ Declaration of (Semi-) Independence

Mar 14, 2019 · 288 comments
Bos (Boston)
59-41 is a cop out at best. The Republicans have abandoned even the slightest pretense of being American, let alone responsible law makers and overseers. Their charade would not fool people into seeing who they really are: Trump's Stepford wives
Jubilee133 (Prattsville, NY)
"President Trump’s red wall in the Senate cracks. A bit." This is hopeful. Now, one could have even more reason to hope if the Blue Wall in the House cracked. A bit. To permit intelligent progress among the Dom candidates for issues which would appeal to all of America. Like better border security with a limited fence. Jobs, Jobs, and continued job growth. Did I mention jobs? Health insurance subsidies which preserves private care if one chooses to pay for it. Sensible environmental regulation which does not destroy JOBS. Did I mention jobs? Oh, yeah, and less talk of reparations unless someone can explain what the Great Society Programs begun in the 60s were, which we all paid trillions and trillions of dollars, much of it right down the toilet. More talk of economic growth without affirmative action replacing common sense in blue collar job hiring. Did I mention jobs? And no more self-described, and self-impressed, "socialists" pontificating to the voters, for all of their 29 years of wisdom, who then proceed to prove an ideological point, while losing 40,000 jobs in one shot. Did I mention JOBS? If the Blue Wall cracked. A bit.
allen (san diego)
senate republicans deserve no credit for voting for this bill. they knew it would be vetoed and that there was no chance of an override. senators who are vocal in their opposition to trump rarely vote against him. even the late senator McCain rarely voted with the democrats. if republican senators want to do the country and democracy a solid they need to vote with the democrats to get rid of Mitch McConnell. McConnell is the real villain of the piece and the greatest threat to our democracy.
Aurace Rengifo (Miami Beach, Fl.)
The GOP no voters: "difficult to imagine what level of presidential outrage it would take to spur these lackeys to stand up for the integrity of their institution, much less the American people.". No presidential outrage would accomplish that but there would have been a real shot to override Trump's veto if polls showed differently to Senators up for re=election in 2020. It is all about petty political survival.
Tim Nelson (Seattle)
I would really love to believe in the moral integrity of some in the Republican party but I think the no votes really represent McConnell and other elders of the GOP starting to think about the long game. One way or the other eventually Trump will be gone they reason. Best to start preparing now for the post-Trump era when he will inevitably come to be seen by more and more people as a colossally morally flawed president. The Republican defectors will provide cover for the party, which can claim that the party was not after all in lock-step with that popinjay from Queens and still proudly carries the mantle of tribune of the people. We must not forget that the moral rot in this country isn't all about Trump but extends deep into the grand old white-nationalist party.
Laurence Bachmann (New York)
This editorial is a bit like admiring the rainbow after a flash flood. Our tax code has been gutted to favor the super-rich. Our courts are being packed with right-wing crazies who have no respect for women, people of color and gays. Social services are being stripped away and political discourse is reduced to tweets. Pardon me if I don't celebrate.
Fester (Columbus)
Ted Cruz, the senator who waved the Constitution in Obama's face every chance he could, votes to ignore it now. Figures.
Suzie130 (Texas)
@Fester Cruz is running scared. The Republicans in Texas are very concerned that the state will go blue. Cruz will support Trump no matter what just to satisfy the Trump base in Texas.
Tucker26 (Massachusetts)
Any executive order or bill that clearly violates the (intention) of the constitution should be null and void. The problem is that the "strict constitutionalists" on the Supreme Court insist that the Constitution be interpreted only on what it says rather than interpreted in the context of the time. That's tantamount to saying the constitution's authors could never make a mistake and were absolutely clairvoyant. History shows otherwise, as one would expect. The only thing "strict" about their view of the interpretation is strictly bunkum.
john (Louisiana)
The Republicans in congress have many different characters as needed for votes, they may have changed their plans because the House of Representatives loss BUT their plan to defund or privatize Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security by increasing the debt to a point where there are few other options is a top priority.
robert (reston, VA)
It is not a rare display of spine but is a staged show by a bunch of hypocrites. It is glaring that they are still shy of veto proof votes. The red wall has just been painted with luminous cracks that shouldn't fool anybody.
phcoop (Avon)
Maybe the president meant to tweet “Beto!” not “veto!” The “v” on his iPhone is next to the “b” and with his fingers so large he could have easily struck the wrong letter.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
This was all theatre. Safe republicans did the right thing and those up for re-election cowed to Trump fearing a primary challenger. Now it is up to democrats to identify strong challengers to those up for re-election and of there are any real constitutional republicans left in the world to Primary these weak collaborators
BruceC (San Antonio)
I was certain we were to be facing difficult and disappointing times once I heard Trump utter the phrase, now burned in to our memories, "I alone can fix it." The job of being President of the United States is far, far to big a responsibility with way too broad a portfolio to believe that any one person, let alone one as morally bankrupt as Trump, could "fix it." Not a single day of his term has convinced me that he is any more capable than I feared he would be. He shames both the office of the Presidency and our country to the world daily. I do agree with Speaker Pelosi that the best way in which to deal with him is to continue to work to check his abuses to the greatest extent possible, work with Republicans and even when possible Trump to pass sensible legislative priorities and block those contrary to our values and priorities, investigate all of his and those within his administration guilty of possible "high crimes and misdemeanors" and expose the facts to the American public for them to judge, and work to elect a more progressive Congressional majority in both houses in the 2020 election as well as put a qualified and inspirational Democratic leader into the White House in 2020. That is a very busy and expansive agenda. Let's get on it.
Ma (Atl)
Okay. Can we now have a secure border? Drone, personnel, cameras, fences, whatever it takes to stop what is going on at the boarder right now? Will Congress give us budget to secure the boarder? Can we demand 'NO sanctuary cities?' I had sympathy when they were first instituted as I was led to believe that without that classification, police and ICE could just arrest anyone undocumented without committing any crime. But have sense found out that is not the case, that criminals that are convicted of crimes are released into the populous. I was also told that illegal immigrants are not a drain on the social network systems, but earn their own way. I've sense found out that's not true either. So, my sympathies for illegal immigrants is pretty much gone. My frustration with Congress is at an all time high thought. As they continue to DO nothing buy snipe at each other, obstruct, whine, and look for their next photo op with the media, I'd like to see them not be paid, at least for the time they are out promoting themselves.
richard wiesner (oregon)
Whether the 12 Senators voted to pass the resolution because of principle, they are comfortably in their seats, they really see the President as a danger to the balance of power or a combination of these and other reasons, congratulations. The President, is of course busily making up names for you, if he hasn't done so already. At least you can go home knowing you upheld your sworn oath and chose America over The President and his party. The hard part comes next. Your job now is to reassemble your party. Get it back in touch with the real world and facts. You know, the new and improved Republican Party. You will have to expand that sliver of light you have let through and shine it brightly on your 41 colleagues wearing political blinders. Good luck, Dirty Dozen.
Iced Tea-party (NY)
It is clear that most Republican members of Congress are incapable of membership in a democratic society.
Caroline Byrd (Albuquerque)
Republican votes here are all for show - knowing it would ultimately be vetoed and not overruled did not put them at risk of being responsible for any ACTION. STOP giving them any kudos AT ALL!
michael (bay area)
41 spineless GOP senators vote against the constitution and in support of a dictator's veto. 41 Senators, now the walking dead of the Republic.
Ryan (NY)
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is the worst coward. This guy abdicated the responsibility of the Senate as a co-equal branch of government. Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell must resign from the Senate. They are doing a terrible disservice to the nation. They are thrashing out Constitution. Shame on them. Shame on Lindsey Graham. Shame on Mitch McConnell.
Daniel (Kinske)
Cracks? There aren't any cracks in Trumps wall of sycophant Senators. You don't turn off and on honor, or your integrity, or your soul. These Republican Senators are national embarrassments just like their illegitimately elected President who must be on crack.
William (Massachusetts)
Name the cowards who voted nay and put their names on to social media.
Alan R Brock (Richmond VA)
Good going, Senate Republicans. You can do it-----baby steps-----baby steps.
Iced Tea-party (NY)
Pelosi has sabotaged the constitutional effort to hold dictator trump accountable. In so going she has contributed to the political freakshow atmosphere in Washington, who is demanding from his grave that the city should no longer carry his name. 🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧝🏻‍♀️
Eatoin Shrdlu (Somewhere On Long Island)
The system might even be helped by Donald Trump’s belief he is already king of the land. Though he shares a party with more than half the members of the Senate, the average Member of Congress, is proud. For serving well. (On MY political meter, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell bats 0 for doing things I’d do - that doesn’t make him evil, that’s politics) His “shameful” acts have been placing his morality over the Rule of Law - loading the courts with judges lacking judicial temperament, fairness and experience because they’re morally OK. And his willingness to give up the Senate’s power to this particular White House. That’s why he may soon be drowned by fellow Republican senators. A Trump veto on military aid to oil-soaked Saudi Arabia and his bigots’ “emergency” fence may stand, but I foresee a quick rewrite of the definition of a “National Emergency” and, with luck, restoration of “War Powers” to Congress, treaty approval powers to the Senate - where the Constitution put them. For years, Congress ducked responsibility, letting the President do their job. With a failed amoral businessman in that post, whose every choice has worsened the problem it’s supposed to correct, (check the numbers), senators are going to soon be given a choice to do their jobs or step aside. Or they’re just going to find themselves so powerless they change laws with overwhelming votes, party be damned. So they can take pride in doing the job they were elected to do again.
chambolle (Bainbridge Island)
If that’s all the ‘spine’ Republicans can muster, it’s going to be a very long time before they have evolved to walk on land, in an upright posture, on just two appendages.
Trump is going to be tough to get rid of he will not go quietly as he talks about his military .law enforcement and biker gangs backing him up as if he was the new Hitler with SS thugs at his disposal willing to risk their lives to protect his pretty blonde head. DELUSION.
John GrabowskI (New York)
And then Lindsey Graham patches the crack right back up. No story here.
terryg (Ithaca, NY)
The parade of eunuchs serving this president is disturbing. Their manhood gone, they now fear their loss of status and employment. They have no sense of their place in the world and how their joining in this madness drags their country to the edge of crisis. Who will stand up to him when something bad really happens?
Brainfelt (New Jersey)
MauiYankee (Maui)
Wow..... The Blind Squirrel Caucus of the Republic Party found an acorn!!
Mark Marziale (Oak Forest, IL)
It's not a matter of lack of courage. Courage is required to advance a principled stand no matter the political cost. Instead Republicans are acting as they always do: protecting themselves, their party and their donors, damn the consequences for the country. There's no struggle with conscience or grappling with weighty constitutional issues. Simply business as usual.
TWShe Said (USA)
"The left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad. But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this invest[igations]—that’s all they want to do is –you know, they do things that are nasty. Republicans never played this."....This is from the President of the United States--Wednesday 3-13-19---- Where is NYT Story on this--Trump is Unhinged and Pelosi Better Rethink.........
Next Conservatism (United States)
Independence? The Times Editorial Board astonishes once more with its blindness. The 59 votes against the wall was no coincidence. It was calculated to present the president with a fake win for a fake wall; protect the vulnerable as much as possible; and brace for 2020. They'll be dumping dollars into NC and CO to cover the ones who flipped and buckled. The GOP isn't independent. It's a racket. Some actual reporting on the ground would very likely turn all this up, but The Gray Lady doesn't go outdoors anymore.
flydoc (Lincoln, NE)
Ben Sasse, true to form, spoke eloquently about Constitutional principles. Then he voted against his own principles. His rationale? "It's Nancy Pelosi's fault!" How pathetic. I really don't want to hear him referred to as a statesman, or a scholar, or even as a thoughtful person any more. He is not a Senator, he is a White House intern. The other Senator from Nebraska, Deb Fischer, was at least honest and didn't pretend to have principles. I look forward to both of them supporting emergency declarations about climate change, gun violence and universal health care.
Snarky (Maryland)
No it didn’t. The party gave itself just enough cover to avoid total hypocrisy in the event a Democratic president attempted to follow 45 lead. Secretly repubs are praying to heavens in every religion possible this action is defeated by the high court in order to claim they took the moral high road. Too late, this party is under the boot heel of the monster they cultivated
A. F. G. Maclagan (Melbourne, Australia)
The US Constitution is under threat by a man with a well-established Axis II disorder (Narcissistic personality disorder), aided and abetted by the least educated 30-40% of the current population. Probably not the best way to alter over 200 years of serious work, by some of the best minds, which resulted in perhaps the world's greatest civilisation.
Jim Aronson (Maine)
At this time, let us not forget the Presidents boasting about how the midterms were a 'Republican victory.'
Paul Wortman (Providence)
Of course, the real "nullifiers" are the 41 Republican Senators who voted against the Constitution and for autocratic executive rule.
Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 (Boston)
When the vote to override Caligula’s veto comes up on the Senate floor, the “dirty dozen” will be back in their kennels. Today’s showy defiance of Donald Trump was just that: Showtime. Those who stood up and said “yes!” to the executive’s unconstitutional encroachment of the Congress’s power over the exchequer will see the day (soon) when the red, angry, mottled face of Mitch McConnell whips them back into line. Some, no doubt, fearing a rebuke back home in 2020, will cop a plea. We’ll see how seriously Mittens was about honoring the principles that he’s espoused. Or was this vote against No. 45 merely a petty get-back for being played by the president-elect when he practically begged for a Cabinet post? There may have been a “crack” in the wall (no pun intended) but the Republican conference is plainly afraid of the 35% that essentially governs the rest of us. And McConnell won’t sit still for another rebuke to his “leadership.”
Dwight McFee (Toronto)
Democracy is built on trusting your fellow citizens. Republicans only know grievance, spreading mistrust and deviousness. Mitch McConnell is representative of the sheer creepiness of the banality of evil.
Valerie Elverton Dixon (East St Louis, Illinois)
The Republicans in the Senate are still a gang of liars and thieves who continue to fill the federal courts with right-wing ideologues, Federalist Society baby judges. God only knows how much havoc they will wreck on the Constitution or for how long. The Republicans claim to care about the Constitution, but they really only care about re-election. They ought to vote against Trump with a veto proof majority, but they do not have the courage. We the People of the United States, in order to form a perfect union ought to vote against ALL Republicans. Still.
Charlton (Price)
It's about time, GOP. These cracks in the facade show up the feckless cowardice of those still voting for the Emergency and the Wall.
Hoeller Bob (Lexington Kentucky)
If immigrants crossing into the U.S. has recently become a “national emergency “ why wasn’t an emergency declared when the first “aliens” crossed the border 30, 40, 50 years ago?
Peter (CT)
Signing a “non-binding” resolution is the grown-up version of telling a lie with your fingers crossed.
Max duPont (NYC)
The 12 showed spine? Give me a break! Every gop senator will sell his wife and daughter when Trump demands it. This Kabuki act today was all form, no substance.
Gary Valan (Oakland, CA)
According to 41 GOP senators we are on the cusp of becoming Poland, Hungary or maybe Trump's alma mater, Russia. When all of his party will rise up and salute when the boss speaks. We have to show them the door. Do your thing in 2020 and in the future, people...we have to cleanse the house with bleach.
PS (Vancouver)
Whatever happened to all those deficit hawks in the GOP - you know the ones who were screaming blue murder on any spending measure proposed by President Obama . . .
JL (Los Angeles)
When Trump declares a national emergency after he loses the 2020 election because of voter fraud, how many Republican senators will say that don't agree but he has the authority? Almost all of them. And Trump and his sycophants are hoping that the Supreme Court and their "originalist" nonsense just might back him up. Trump is just warming up.
TWShe Said (USA)
While Congress is invoking its right to block the President, Trump is going out all nuts with Brietbart throwing the Batman Symbol on the Wall for violence to ensue if he's politically discouraged...........ONLY in Hollywood or DC
Linda Chave (CT)
My favorite words in this editorial: “Considering the president’s untrustworthiness ...”. Telling it like it is.
Tom Feigelson (Brooklyn, NY)
Not nearly enough Senators participated in this too-little too-late gesture. Thirty-eight still voted for authoritarianism. Bleed, bleed, poor country!
sophia (bangor, maine)
What is the matter with these Republicans? Such cowards! I'm looking at you, Ben Sasse, Mr. Character Counts. I guess it counts only when it's easy, huh, Benny? COWARD. Our country is crumbling. We must get rid of Trump and all Republicans. All of them. Every single one. The only courageous vote taken was by my senator, Susan Collins. I know I will never vote for her again because she is a Republican. But I admire her for this vote. In every election that comes (if we continue to have elections; Trump may try to end them all) we must vote every Republican out. They care nothing about the Constitution. They care nothing about America. They've proven it now. COWARDS.
John Burke (NYC)
Oh, baloney. We're supposed to be (semi) happy that 12 GOPers broke with Trump to sustain the rule of law. Well, I'm not because 41 voted to trash the Constitution due to raw fear that Trump can demagogically rouse their constituents against them. They are right. He can, and that's the problem. It's not just Trump. It's the millions of deplorables who cheer this lying crook on.
Sarah (Bethesda)
Democrats should thank Republicans for making the 2020 campaign ads so easy to write.
rich (hutchinson isl. fl)
"As for the rest of the Republican conference, it is increasingly, and depressingly, difficult to imagine what level of presidential outrage it would take to spur these lackeys to stand up for the integrity of their institution, much less the American people." Calling them "lackeys" instead of traitors failing to fulfill their oath to uphold the Constitution is giving the cowardly GOP snakes a pass they do not deserve.
Alan MacDonald (Wells, Maine)
Of course, what’s far more dangerous than a “Declaration of (Semi-) Independence” is clearly this current “Declaration of (Semi-) Democracy” and virtual Empire, of which faux-Emperor Trumpius is merely the “acting” Head Cheerleader of the actual Disguised Global Capitalist Empire team — as Professor Robinson has diagnosed: “The U.S. state is a key point of condensation for pressures from dominant groups around the world to resolve problems of global capitalism and to secure the legitimacy of the system overall. In this regard, “U.S.” imperialism refers to the use by transnational elites of the U.S. state apparatus (hard & soft powers) to continue to attempt to expand, defend, and stabilize the global capitalist system. We are witness less to a “U.S.” imperialism per se than to a global capitalist imperialism. We face an EMPIRE OF GLOBAL CAPITAL, headquartered, for evident historical reasons, in Washington.” [Caps added] Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity, 2014 Robinson, William Cambridge University Press.
TheraP (Midwest)
The PHOTO says it all! The GOP is dragging what reminds of ghettos and prisons and “keep out” signs and “private - no trespassing” signs. But little “sign” that there’s really a way in or a way out of the prisons they’ve erected for others and the exclusive private clubs they frequent - for themselves “alone.”
dupr (New Jersey)
The 12 senators who voted for the resolution deserves no credit and I wish papers like the NYT and other media do not hold these 12 up as courageous republicans. They are cowards too and are complicit in assisting in destroying US democracy. To think that senators would vote against their own authorized powers in the US constitution is unconscionable, spineless and cowardly.
Richard (San Mateo)
Trump is confident of his power. He seems to control Mitch McConnell. But the only reason McConnell is in power is because the other Republicans support him. It all gets a bit circular, and it reminds me of a toilet flushing. They can all go down together. That seems to be what they want. Is this the end of the Republican Party? I kind of hope so. California has pretty much put them out of their misery. Trump is a dead end.
Ryan (Harwinton, CT)
Republicans to Trump: "Don't mess with our cheap labor!"
Mixilplix (Fairhope, Alabama)
Gee. Such brave heroes
Wheezy (NC)
Cowardice by Thom Tillis
nurseJacki (ct.USA)
Republicans taking their first baby steps. Come on now boys and girls Core strength will help you stand upright for American values Hate has ruled thru chaos in trumpworld His threats of violence by peace officers and military and Bikers plus his stupid crass twitter veto won’t keep him out of prison.
RickyDick (Montreal)
In other words, 41 out of 53 GOP senators are morally repugnant. 80% of them. What is sad is that such a pathetic state of affairs is a big improvement. I suppose we should be grateful for a step in the right direction, even if it is a small one.
Glen (Texas)
Spine? Please. Snakes have spines, and are every bit as "flexible" as is Lumbricus terrestris, our common earthworm. John Cornyn should have been numbered among those standing up to Trump, but he has been as wriggly as an eel. An Air Force veteran of the rank of colonel, he uttered nary a peep when Trump declared John McCain was not a hero for his actions as a POW. Trump couldn't stand the pain of imaginary heel spurs during his "personal Vietnam" of cruising the night club scene of New York City, braving the ever present dangers of venereal disease. But Cornyn, facing a competitive race next year (but one suddenly become less daunting with Beto's decision to run for Trump's job instead of his Cornyn's) couldn't find the stones to vote for the Constitution. Where was Nebraska's Ben Sasse? Colorado's Cory Gardner? Chameleon Thom Tillis? Joni Ernst or Martha McSally, both military veterans, were missing in action. Why? I have written to Cornyn asking him specifically to vote to override Trump's veto. He won't. I am not delusional. In a few days I will receive one of those canned, boilerplate, non-committal (if not utterly unrelated) emails thanking me for my concerns. That's what we're told to do as citizens and voters: write, call your senator or congressman. I do. Cruz doesn't respond at half the time. Nor does the turnip disguised as a human who represents my congressional district. But Cornyn at least is diligent. And predictable. And running scared.
Bottles (Southbury, CT 06488)
"Shortly after the vote Thursday afternoon, Mr. Trump took to Twitter. “VETO!” he wrote". Soon, Trump's bigger problem will be BETO!
FR Fraley Jr (Los Angeles)
Wow, NYT EB, you are awfully desperate for a good (false equivalency) headline here. There were No Republican Senators voting, they made no declaration (not even partial), and they exhibited no independence. Instead, a group of traitors declared that they will do nothing to protect bedrock principles of democracy on which the people founded this republic. Even those few who ostensibly voted against Trump deserve complete condemnation, for not expending every fiber of their being to change their colleagues’ votes to save this democratic republic as their oaths bind them to do. I learned these moral principles from 7th/8th grade teachers in a Findlay Ohio junior high school in the 1970s from men and women of character who were true patriots (almost all of whom were Republicans). They would not have found these judgments complicated then; we should not do so now.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
You got it exactly right. With a few exceptions, republican senators chose to remain Trumpian to protect their miserable seats in government. This, in flagrand cowardice in asserting the independence of the Legislative from an abusive Executive. There ought to be no doubts by now that our bully in-chief believes he is above the law. Legislators' voting in support of Trump's whims are shamefully 'in bed' with a most arrogant thug, also a coward in disguise, weak and insecure at best.
Andrew M. (British Columbia)
The Founders could not have imagined that American men would become so spineless, to put it politely. Ironic that Nancy Pelosi is helping them to recover what’s left of their manhood. Let’s wish her luck, regardless of which party you voted for.
AlNewman (Connecticut)
I’m amused afresh at how people are still willing to believe these Republicans showed spine or moral courage. If you noticed, almost all of them either just won election (to six-year terms) or are in safe districts. They also knew their votes ultimately were enough to pass this tombstone bill, but not result in a veto override. In other words, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, the president still gets what he wants. I still can’t believe the Times’s editorial board and readers of this page are still, after all this time, looking for the principled conservative.
Murfski (Tallahassee)
@AlNewman There are still a number of principled conservatives. They're just not in the Republican party.
bern galvin (los angeles)
@AlNewman "the principled conservative"......hope springs eternal.
B McGrath (Olympia, WA)
@AlNewman "If it were not for hope, the heart would break."
Angus Cunningham (Toronto)
@Editorial Board: "But neither sticks nor carrots were enough to spare the president back-to-back humiliations." Did the president feel humiliation? My guess is that he felt angry defiance. But maybe there's now more hope he'll actually be unable to avoid feeling some shame ... What did the Republicans whose votes put them in a minority among their party colleagues feel? They must surely have long been wondering whether their oath of office required them to vote that way. Will they now see value in working to educate themselves and their constituents out of a slavish resistance to ideas and values that conservative tribes almost invariably resort to calling 'socialism'?
Ugly Toad (Grass Valley, Ca)
Not one Republican up for election in 2020 voted to stop the President violate Article One. And a bunch who are not up for election, too. These “representatives” once vowed to be faithful to their partner in life, The US Constitution. Now they have succumbed to the powerful allure of a suitor promising electoral pleasures, but only if the Oath of Office is set aside. 41 elected officials did this. Their political unfaithfulness is the outrage. Their repugnance is the story.
antonio gomez (kansas)
The Times overlooks the fact that Congress in all it's iterations over the last thirty years has done nothing to fix our legal immigration system or to control illegal immigration. In fact they have made them worse. Why? Can the Times tell us? It is also easy for Senators to get on their high horses and and make pious, self-righteous speeches, while ignoring reality, because in the end they have no responsibility. They know the final decision will be made in the White House. This is true for most issues. The Senate only acts in it's own interests and that of its "donors". Congress long ago ceded it's responsibilities and power to either the White House, the Federal buereuacy or the Chamber of Congress and other big money pressure groups. Finally, it used to be said that patriotism was last refuge of scoundrels. It seems that now spurious constitutional claims that are only pretexts to do nothing have become the last refuge for Senators aided and abetted by a credulous corporate media.
amalendu chatterjee (north carolina)
Nothing to cheer. it is just a show case for all GOP senators. some are for reelection ploy. For example. Tom Tillis of North Carolina - yes and then no. total flip flop just to get attention from the president not voters. how do you get from here to the real meat - getting majority in the senate by democrats and using nuclear options to get right legislation approved as opposed to GOP's wrong option for the supremet court justice.
kpjwest (Baltimore)
It is nice that 12 republicans voted against Trump's National Emergency decree, but it really doesn't mean much and hardly indicates the presence of conscience or principles. Where are the Republicans when Trump and the Federalist society nominate racist, sexist, homophobic, incompetent, ideologues as judges for lifetime jobs in the Federal Courts? In lock step behind Trump in party line votes. Some other nominees are likely sound choices for the bench. But it doesn't seen to make a difference in the votes in the Senate.
Art (Colorado)
My Senator, Cory Gardner, was one of the spineless ones. In fact, he issued a statement on Twitter swallowing whole Trump's lies about the border and mindlessly parroting his justification for the "wall." I hope Mr. Gardner has enjoyed his 4+ years in the Senate, because that career will be ending in November, 2020.
red or green (Albuquerque)
A majority of U.S. Senators woke up yesterday and did something right rather than buckle to sound bites and unthinking warped political partisanship. They put the United States first. I sincerely hope that no Senator or Representative was knowingly elected to dismantle our form of government with three equal branches and built in checks and balances to hold the other branches accountable for their actions. But, starting to have my doubts. Some Senators, and Representatives, seem to live in a parallel universe unable to recognize very real danger to our form of government presented by Little Donny. They need to wake up from their political stupor to "protect and defend" our unique form of government. There is no doubt that Little Donny crossed the line set by the U.S. Constitution that created an accountable tripartite form of government that many in the rest of the world admire and aspire to, whether in their own country, or by emigration to the United States. So, PLEASE do your sworn duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States by hitting reset to put country first, and politics and your own political survival down the chain of your priorities and loyalties. KEEP AMERICA GREAT! "KAG" "MAGA" only comes in to play if you fail to do your sworn duty to defend the Constitution.
Bonnie (Cleveland)
I’m a Democrat, but I’m proud of Ohio’s Republican Senator Rob Portman for supporting the resolution. Although I usually disagree with him on policy I think he has much more integrity and much more concern for the good of our country than the vast majority of his Republican colleagues in Congress.
Dennis (St. Michaels, MD)
Could someone at the NYT prepare a flow chart or article outlining the process of immigration? In other words, if one shows up at the border, what are the options, and what can happen to them and their family? If admitted to the US, can they get benefits - welfare, social security, medicare, green cards, work permits etc.? How does the system work? I read so many articles about US citizens who think all immigrants game the system. Setting forth what is true or not, would be a great public service. People demonize these people based on perceived facts. A common sense explanation of how the "system" actually works would help.
Kevin Brock (Waynesville, NC)
"For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other." - John Adams The extent to which the Party of Trump embraces the notion that the King is law shows exactly how craven their political ambitions have become. Thom Tillis is exhibit one.
Len (Pennsylvania)
I would bet the farm that if serving in the United States Congress meant being paid a reasonable but not overly generous salary and benefits package - like what is in effect now - the dynamic would change dramatically. These Senate (and House) Republicans put getting re-elected as their first priority, not upholding the Constitution or even the desire of a majority of Americans on issues like gun control, or building that wall on the Southern border. There is tremendous power and prestige that comes with a Senate or House seat, and the perks are both plentiful and generous, to include a salary of $174,000 (plus expenses), a Cadillac health care plan for the families of those who are elected and more. They get priority in flying, they get courted by lobbyists, they have generous staff expenses paid over their salaries, and they are legislators! They get to cross-examine witnesses coming before their committees that amount to nothing more than bullying and grand-standing, and when they eventually do retire they can expect lucrative consulting or lobbying careers on K Street. The New Hampshire House of Representatives, numbering 400 - the third largest legislative body in the world - pays its representatives $100 per year. That figure has not changed in over 200 years. People who run for office in that state are truly citizen-legislators and they ain't doing it for the money. Time to re-think the Washington DC model.
James K. Lowden (Camden, Maine)
How many of your citizen-legislators aren’t independently wealthy? If you don’t compensate people fairly for their time, you’ll attract only those who can afford to donate their time.
antonio gomez (kansas)
@Len Amen. You can trace the roots of every problem we face to the existence of for profit, career politicians. Every thing they do or say is motivated by personal ego, profit and aggrandizement. The nation, people and what is right do not enter into it. Both parties and without exception. What stuns and bothers me is how any adult can still cling to the idea that government works and that we need more of it in the face of history and daily events.
Len (Pennsylvania)
@James K. Lowden Fair points. In New Hampshire, the legislative season is only six months, and legislators are compensated for mileage, which can add up especially with committee assignments But you'd be surprised with how varied the mix is in NH - it's not only retired folks running for office. Something's got to give. Perhaps term limits on Senate/House seats. Perhaps mandatory rotation on committees. Clearly the system in place now is not serving the nation.
abigail49 (georgia)
It is not about Trump and who's with him and who's not. It is about Republicans. It is who they are. They are voting their values. If they have wanted to stop illegal border crossings for all the reasons Trump now says it's a national emergency, they've had 40 years or more to do it. They've had majorities in both houses of Congress and Republican presidents that could have built a wall or otherwise passed laws and funding to get the job done. They didn't want to. They knew illegal immigrants were their "trump card" to stay in power. They knew how divisive immigration is, how it plays into racial bigotry, resentment and fears which they have long used to win elections when they had nothing else to offer working people. Working class white Americans who love chanting "Build the Wall" and all Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric have been played, not just lately by Trump but by the Republican Party for decades. It's time to stop blaming Donald Trump for everything and start bringing the heat to the Mitch McConnells, Lindsay Grahams, and Chuck Grassleys who have been in Congress and held power under GOP presidents to do anything they wanted to. Just ask them, "Why NOW do you want to stop illegal border crossings when you could have done it decades ago?"
WmC (Lowertown, MN)
What seems to be motivating the "pro-emergency" Republican Senators is the fear of being primaried. This raises the question of why you'd want to continue to hold a job where you couldn't vote your conscience while at the same time acting to curb your own decision making authority. Are they that desperate for the income? Or is it the free health insurance? Or the fear of not being able to make a go of it in the private sector?
Vince Palmisano (Farmington, NY)
As pointed out on the PBS Newshour, only one of the twelve Republican senators faceds re-election in 2020. The preservation of the institutions of the Senate and the House appears to be of secondary concern to these people when compared with their own self-preservation. People become very comfortable with the status quo when they have been entrenched for years. With the present situation, of entrenched politians who care only about their own self-edification and little for their Oaths of office, one can argue that term limits are truly necessary. The retort that the electorate can vote them out rings hollow, when the incumbents and parties conspire to maintain the status quo in the primaries and in fundraising. While it is true that one would lose much institutional knowledge and experience, the Congress may regain the vision and the hope that enabled the United States to thrive and prosper. As RFK said: "There are those who look at things as they are and ask why...I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" It is time for Congress to dream big again moving forward,.
Tom Q (Minneapolis, MN)
Make no mistake about it. The Republican senators didn't choose choose party over country. They didn't choose the president over the Constitution. They chose themselves over primary challengers. TERM LIMITS!
GraceNeeded (Albany, NY)
"It's increasingly, and depressingly, difficult to imagine what measure of outrage it will take" for Congress to do its job, as a co-equal branch of government to the executive, not only having power of the purse, declaring war, but also investigating ethics violations that have been going on two years with little push back from the Republican majority until now. Maybe, they are starting to see the light! Justice will be served. The day of reckoning will come.
Vítor Luís Antunes Coutinho (São Luís do Maranhão)
I don't think it is a little feat for the senators to buck their party leader. It is amazing that 41 senators, particularly those who call themselves "conservatives", should fail so spectacularly on this Constitution 101 test. But let's be honest, bending the constitution for a cherished political outcome (or just for being a coward threatened by a scowling party leader) is not a "privilege" of Republicans. The real test for professed love for the constitution comes when holding fast hurts. Those of the twelve senators who supported the wall funding passed the test.
hal (Florida)
Why, astounded. I'm just plain astounded.The National Weathervane (Lindsay Graham) has decreed that Trump can have his vote for a song (Dixie?). "My" Sen. Rick Scott continues to be the statuary stand-in for Mike Pence and a Trump stamp. But, surprise, Sen. Marco Rubio is among the 12 who voted to block the President's end around, at least temporarily, until Mitch McConnell cracks the whip to bring them all back in line. Given the contempt with which Trump belittled, demeaned, then dismissed Sen. Rubio during the presidential campaign, it's refreshing to see him countering that image by standing on his hind legs in opposition. If only this belated honeymoon could last.
Dan (Sandy, Ut)
@hal Graham is no longer a servant of the people and this country-he is merely a groveling fool at the feet of another fool.
Mike S. (Eugene, OR)
Call me when McConnell or 67 senators vote yes. Otherwise, it's another "close one," but still a loss.
Alice's Restaurant (PB San Diego)
Give me a break: Senate Republicans are "(Semi-)" Independent because they voted with Schumer-Pelosi? Just shows there's little difference between the RNC and DNC Politburos. Deep-swamp malfeasance continues.
Marie (Boston)
@Alice's Restaurant little difference between the RNC and DNC? Well, today one side is with the Constitution and history and the other side is with dominion over the Constitution. To me that is a big difference. I will never side with traitors of the Revolution and establishment of representative government.
Alice's Restaurant (PB San Diego)
@Marie Remember he was elected based on the constitution. That said, Trump didn't do anything beyond the scope of the constitution. He just did something neither Politburo liked. Big difference. When he orders tanks to roll up in front of Capital Hill, please call.
Marie (Boston)
@Alice's Restaurant I disagree (not about the veto), but in any case "What can I get away with? What is in the letter of the law but not the spirit?" is criminal thinking. It's how they think. It's how Trump thinks. Its how many of his supporters think. He's one of them. The nasty neighbor.
Glen (Texas)
I am only too well aware of the way the Senators from Texas voted. Cruz, of course is a hopeless case, 2nd only to Trump in the field of self-aggrandizement. Cornyn, an Air Force veteran --a Colonel for god's sake-- I keep expecting better from, only to be, time and time and time again, disappointed. I have just submitted a request to my senior senator to reconsider his vote against this resolution. I am absolutely certain the time was wasted (except for those spent sipping wine and scotch while composing it) and I will receive, yet again, one of his pre-canned, boiler-plate responses about what a great effort he is putting forth for the citizens of Texas. And thanks for contacting me. I can tell you this: Beto O-Rourke's decision to run for President instead of opposing Cornyn in his campaign for re-election to the Senate just cut deeply into the profits here in Texas of the makers of Charmin and Northern Bathroom tissue.
S.Einstein (Jerusalem)
"...(Semi-) Independence..." is part of the same semantic surrealism as an as --yet-uncreated concept, process and outcome as "semi-personal, semi- unaccountability," of all-too-many national,semi-faux-elected and selected policymakers daily engaged in semi-complacency and semi-complicity.
S.Einstein (Jerusalem)
"...(Semi-) Independence..." is part of the same semantic surrealism as an as --yet-uncreated concept, process and outcome as "semi-personal, semi- unaccountability," of all-too-many national,semi-faux-elected and selected policymakers daily engaged in semi-complacency and semi-complicity. Focusing on both parties, their mantrafying words, and done-deeds, doesn't absolve US in our enabling of an everpresent, created, toxic, violating WE-THEY culture. Of our own daily choices NOT to contribute to making a difference which makes a sustainable difference for viable, needed menschlichkeit. "...tectonic shift(s)..." do not have the choice of being accountable, or not. Each of US, by our selves, as well as with others-kin, neighbors, friends, strangers-in-whatever-ways, DO! Choices for our voices for mutual civility. Mutal trust. Mutal Respect.Mutual help, when and if needed. Mutual, sustainable bridge-building. Mutual wellbeing-barrier-blocking. Mutual enabling of equitable sharing of limited human and non-human resources which are critical for quality-of-life. In daily life and not just as a term. In safe havens. At home. In neighborhoods. In streets, which are more than just for walking. Schools. At work. In stores and markets. At leisure. As well as times and sites of spirituality and prayer. At unexpected emergencies which are an integral dimension of reality and its ever-present uncertainties. Unpredictabilities. Randomness. The gift of choosing to BE accountable.
Mark (Cheboygan)
It would matter if it were veto proof. This vote is for show only
Steve (Maryland)
"The obvious, burning question is whether these votes are outliers — or a sign that Republican lawmakers are rethinking their blind loyalty to a president who routinely confuses public service with personal gratification." Exactly!
Meighley (Missoula)
@Steve Susan Collins has fooled me before. She is no outlier.
Kathy White (GA)
None of the US Representatives and Senators voting as the current President wished likely did not campaign on ditching the Constitution and forming an autocracy during their last elections. If they had, at least their coup of democratic government would have been honest and maybe voters would have chosen political opponents who valued our constitutional Republic and the Founders’s genius of separation and balance of powers. It has been clear for several years democracy has not been working for Republicans. From gerrymandering and restrictive voting laws in GOP-controlled States to purposeful trashing and corruption of constitutional responsibilities in the US Congress, Republicans have demonstrated nothing but cowardice and betrayal to the foundational core of ideas of rights, freedoms, and liberties for all people, ignoring Justice and the rule of law as it applies to Republicans. They have built an anti-democratic movement. Shame on them all.
D. Ben Moshe (Sacramento)
How is this something to celebrate when 41 Republicans essentially voted against the Constitution?
Marie (Boston)
@D. Ben Moshe 41 Republicans. Let's not those voting against in the house. They would be needed to override a veto too.
Richard (Palm City)
The twelve only voted that way because they knew Trump would veto. A pretend independence.
Geezer in Greene (Charlottesville, VA)
So some Republicans have found the requisite body parts to finally stick up for their own rights on the War Powers Act and appropriations. When will they get back to having the courage to stick up for our rights, as well?
GOP senators who were threatened with Trump's base was a display of Trump's affinity for fascism as he seeks to rule as America;s first dictator. When you appease an authoritarian president ready to abuse every power at his disposal you are inviting in a dictatorship and TRump knows if he loses in 2020 he faces criminal prosecution. Trump will void the 2020 election if he loses claiming voter fraud and would be willing to use the military to stay in power. McCONNELL and the GOP would look the other way as Trump would be their dictator giving tax cuts out and destroying the New Deal to pay for them.
MAC (Mass)
Members of the GOP (Great Oligarchy Party) that vote for the over-through of democracy today, should immediately resign their honored position as US Senator. For those that voted against the future dictator, bravo. We need to see more of that backbone if we are to avoid a constitutional disaster in 2020.
Aleutian Low (Somewhere in the middle)
The real story here is that 41 members of the party formally known as "Republicans" publicly declared that Trump was more important to them then democracy, the constitution, and the authority and responsibility they swore to uphold for their elected positions. It's disgusting and a betrayal to all decent Americans. In 2020 these Trumpian lap dogs need to be put out in the yard, so the rest of us can start mending our imperfect democracy.
Marie (Boston)
RE: "Then, unlikely to garner enough support to override such a veto, it is expected to die." When that happens the revolution against being ruled by a king that saw its beginnings here in Boston 250 years ago will be lost. The Tories and Loyalists who fought the Patriots will have finally won the last battle. They will have prevailed and will have done so without the blood and lives that my and many of your ancestors gave up for our freedom from tyranny. What is shocking is how few traitors it really takes to defeat the republic and is a lesson for future generations. This is not overstatement. This kind of power the President is taking is exactly why we fought, and exactly why we created a constitution putting the power of the people in our representatives. That the representatives would surrender that power willingly, enthusiastically, is unforgivable to me. And those who do it from fear (Senate Republicans were not exactly eager to cross Mr. Trump) are cowards, not deserving of their place where Patriots once sat.
JM (San Francisco)
That 41 Republican Senators chose mad man, Donald Trump, over the United States Constitution is absolutely shocking. America, we are in big trouble.
Meighley (Missoula)
@JM And that this mad man sits in the White House and threatens the American people with an angry military if we do not support him is insanity.
Phil M (New Jersey)
All Republicans who support Trump must be voted out for dereliction of duties. They are traitors to the Constitution who gave up working for the people for decades. They have rigged the vote in their favor through gerrymandering, voter suppression and Citizens United. How to overturn and correct these Democracy destroying policies will be almost impossible. The GOP knows this and relies on fraud to stay in power. What will come first, the destruction of our Democratic society or fixing it in time? Don't count on the rich voluntarily making fair contributions to society and don't count on the GOP's brainwashed base to cooperate in meaningful solutions. I hope the younger generations have the spines and patience for the long fight ahead. They need to create a better future for themselves because now, it looks bleak.
Cooper Hawkes (Syracuse)
This is no test of the Senate's independence. Republican Senators know that this vote is just for the few swing voters they want to court for re-election. They knew their votes would have no consequence as Trump would exercise his veto, and ultimately the Supreme Court will be the arbiter of this fictitious "emergency". So let's take a look at Republican Senators' votes when it really mattered. How about the appointments of Gorsuch or Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, thus ensuring that this nation becomes a Christian theocracy? Or how about the Senate Republicans' refusal to consider a vote on whether Mr. Mueller's report should be public? Of course if Senate Republicans have their way, this investigation and its results will never see the light of day. This newspaper and other reputable news organizations must stop reporting on anything relating to Trump or his toadies in the Senate as if they are sane, decent, thoughtful people. They are none of these things. Trump and his Senate Republican vassals are in this for only one thing - to hold on to power indefinitely, regardless of the will of the majority of our citizens. Just this week Trump declared that "...he has the support of the police, military and 'Bikers for Trump' and warns that 'it would be very bad' if they have to get tough on his opponents..."* This latest Senate vote is nothing more than a fig leaf. Trump won't leave quietly, and the Republican Senate will remain his henchmen. Get ready. *CNN, March 14, 2019
Somewhere (Arizona)
We now have a list of Senators who are more loyal to Trump than the United States Constitution. Vote them out in 2020.
Portola (Bethesda)
If there is an R next to the name on the ballot, don't vote for them. Straight line.
stu freeman (brooklyn)
More than likely this demonstration of backbone on the part of these GOPoliticos was tied to the realization that allowing their feckless leader to get away with this pilfering of the national purse on behalf of his self-concocted "emergency" would inevitably lead to similar action by a Democratic president in the cause of an actual emergency, like assault-rifle proliferation. Sorry but I see no reason for a 21-gun salute on the occasion of this isolated act of semi-integrity.
John Crutcher (Seattle)
That a majority of Republicans support Trump's usurpation of their power of the purse is astounding. But the lengths these ‘leaders' of our democracy will go to to hobble Americans' voting rights, as exemplified in today's column by Carol Anderson ("Our Democracy Is Being Stolen...”), should be sufficient to show how perverse and corrupt the Republican Party and the conservative movement in our country have become; and how along with Trump, they are destroying our democratic institutions from the inside out. Why so few Republican defectors on Trump’s national emergency? Probably because they can countenance things like denying Americans their fundamental legal right to vote, as political strategy -- in a DEMOCRACY that they obnoxiously booster in the smarmiest ways for being exceptional! On an individual basis they are as corrupt a group of political leaders as our nation has ever seen. McConnell and his allies persist in lying about voter fraud in the same way that Trump lies about the crisis at the border (or the sun, the moon, and the stars). Is that any way to run a country, especially a democracy (the health of which depends entirely on its citizens being well-informed!) -- yes, a federal republic, to be sure, but a representative, democratic one where voting is sacred! -- by deceiving the public ceaselessly with propaganda so you can disenfranchise them? If they can stomach such fundamentally un-American behavior in themselves, what else are they capable of?
Peter (Syracuse)
This should have been an easy vote. There is no emergency. The Congress already told Trump there would be no money for his wall. But Republicans seem determined to protect Trump from accountability and themselves from a primary challenge. If they had some accomplishments to run on other than Justice Beerpong and tax cuts for the rich, they might have nothing to fear in a primary....or even in a general. But those that are up in 2020 have just declared their intention to retire. They will be defeated either by a primary electorate that doesn't trust them anyway, or in a general election by a majority that is fed up with their feckless complicity.
TWShe Said (USA)
Trump suggests that it could get 'very bad' if military, police, biker supporters play 'tough'..What the What? Police State??
Sachi G (California)
Help wanted: Stonecutter-turned-D.C. politician. Political plug and feather a plus.
scott k. (secaucus, nj)
Note to Senate republicans, as Speaker Pelosi said about impeaching Trump the other day "he's not worth it".
Bill smith (Nyc)
The headline should read: 41 republicans don't care about the constitution while 12 pay it lip service only.
deBlacksmith (Brasstown, NC)
Just eight more votes in the Senate to impeach if the house does it right !
gregnowell (Philly)
Red wall aside, is it really too much to ask for a senator to vote in accordance with the Constitution.
Steve Kennedy (Deer Park, Texas)
"In an interview with Breitbart News, President Trump said this: 'I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.' " (Washington Post, 14Mar2019) As an Independent voter, I would say unbelievable, but no longer. Mr. Trump has painted himself as a person who truly believes he is above the law, above the people. The people who have worked hard to build up our democracy, and now have a POTUS who sees it as his own little sandbox. He has to go, and his Republican congressional enablers with him - looking at you, Misters McConnell and Graham and Cruz.
Mister Ed (Maine)
That only 12 Republican Senators voted to support the constitutionally mandated separation of powers is scary. We rely on the Senate to provide the measure of competence to governance because it is too easy for crazies to get elected to the House in gerrymandered districts. Not good.
-APR (Palo Alto, California)
Spine, WHAT spine? Republicans have kowtowed to this Mafia Don since November 9, 2016. However, the day of reckoning is coming when Trump will be accused of various crimes in many jurisdictions. DOJ policy may save Trump from being indicted in federal court, but DOJ has no control in State court.
Chintermeister (Maine)
Even Republican senators who somehow still want a border wall with Mexico have probably been made a bit uncomfortable by Trump undermining their authority, especially in such a transparently dishonest way. Giving in to yet another obvious lie must have felt so .... demeaning.
Cody McCall (tacoma)
The Wall, of course, is a scam to divert attention from the true Trump agenda which, among other atrocities, seeks to open the Atlantic seaboard to exploration for oil and gas deposits. As noted in yesterday Guardian by a flunky in the Interior Dept. who sang the praises of Trump for his brilliant abilities to deceive and divert.
Skip Bonbright (Pasadena, CA)
It’s not independence if you make a move that you know will be vetoed.
CBT (St. Paul, MN)
@Skip Bonbright I have to agree. A truer test of independence would be their vote to override Trump's probable veto. When that happens, I'll believe there is still hope, albeit dim, for the GOP.
Ms. Pea (Seattle)
Yes, but there aren't enough votes to override Trump's veto, so in reality voting with the Democrats on this means nothing. Trump will use his veto to prove to his base that he's the man in charge and that he can't be held back by Congress. He'll use this as a chance to brag and boast. It's not a defeat for him--far from it. Trump wins in the end, because Republicans will let his veto stand and he will get the funding he's wanted all along. At future rallies, he'll ridicule Congress and laugh at their weakness and tell his followers that he can't be stopped by Congress or anyone else. This only fuels the fire for Trump. It does nothing to rebuke him.
avrds (montana)
How sad for my state that one of our Senators, the spineless Steve Daines, would rather vote to support Trump than support the Constitution which he swore to uphold. The people of Montana (and the nation) deserve more than all of those spineless Senators in the GOP who voted to turn their job -- which we pay them to do -- over to the president. As the president likes to say about those in Congress who don't do their job: Sad.
Christy (WA)
So 12 Republican senators showed some courage. The rest continued to cower in terror of Emperor Trump, with Tillis leading the pack in craven cowardice. He wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post declaring that he would "stand on principle" and vote against Trump's state of emergency, then ate his words and proved that his commitment to principle was as firm as a wet noodle. Even a red state like North Carolina may not have the stomach to re-elect such a spineless example of toadyism. Cory Gardner is toast in Colorado, where the Denver Post withdrew its endorsement. And Ted Cruz, the Canadian-Texan who keeps calling himself a constitutionalist, turned out yet again to be nothing more than an empty bag of Trumpist wind.
David (Colorado Springs)
Notably absent from the Republicans crossing over to the side of the Constitution was (spineless) Cory Gardner. Shame!
EJW (Colorado)
Oh don't be too sure. This smells like a dead fish. One vote short of a veto proof vote?! This has Mitch McConnell all over it. We are doomed!
SMB (Savannah)
In July 2017, Sen. McCain gave one of the great floor speeches of modern times in the Senate. He pleaded for a return to regular order and compromise. He contrasted the American form of government with the cruelties of autocrats and the corruptability of people. He decisively voted against Trump and the GOP on healthcare. For some time, Trump is said to have frequently and angrily mocked Sen. McCain's thumb down in the White House, reenacting it. Now Lindsey Graham fawningly says Trump "feels good" about a veto. We've gone from the lifelong patriotism and courage of Sen. McCain to the craven politics of many Republican legislators now, willing to discard the U.S. Constitution to ensure Trump is not unhappy, not disappointed, feeling good, etc. This GOP world is measured by keeping their leader from crying or tantrums as they tiptoe around, rush into his White House, and compliment him incessantly, ignoring the 100 plus contacts with Russia before the election and the alignments with autocrats afterwards. Thank you to the Republican senators who remembered you were once the Party of Lincoln and McCain. The rest of you have failed your great tests of patriotism over and over. Finis.
Dan (Sandy, Ut)
It appears the Republicans not only fear the twitter in chief but also his red hatted disciples rather than act for the benefit of the country as a whole. However, the Democrats also pander to the base of a sitting Democrat president. In the two instances of these votes, a sideshow of sorts, it does demonstrate the need for our institutions to work as our founders intended-checks and balances-rather than baggage boys (and girls) for a president. We listened at the deafening screeches that Obama was an "imperial president", with much of the braying and bleating coming from Trump's source of information, well, disinformation, Fox "News", due to his use of executive orders. Yet, Trump, our emperor president, will get a pass, a mere slap of the hand, and the presidential advisors on Fox "News" will cheer in delight. What a mess our politics have become. And we just sit back in our complacency and allow the corruption of our politics to continue.
N. Smith (New York City)
It's a start. And a long overdue one. After what seems like an interminable amount of time locked in the control of a one-party government under a president who acts more like an autocratic ruler than the head of a constitutional democracy, it's about time the Senate stepped up to the plate to challenge a declaration of emergency that is nothing more than a bid for Mr. Trump to get his own way. Of course he was bound to veto it. But it showed something we haven't seen for a long time, namely the will of both parties to overcome their differences in order to come together for the common good. It was brief. It was revolutionary. And the statement was unmistakable: This is what Democracy looks like.
Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma (Jaipur, India.)
Though not much should be read with the Senate vote against Trump's emergency declaration and it is largely a symbolic protest yet sometimes even token resistance to the power misuse by the wayward executive can prove most decisive when it comes to restoring the power balance in the governance. Thus for whatever reasons the opposition vote even of a few Senate Republicans together with the House and Senate Democrats assumes significance in mobilising wider resistance to the authoritarian ways of Trump.
Anonymous (WA)
Getting enough votes for a veto override in both houses of Congress is the best opportunity Congress has had in years to reestablishing its strengths. Democrats in both houses should seize this opportunity to do some major horse-trading. That’s what politicians do. Republicans may feel that Trump will turn on them and threaten their re-election prospects. They may feel that siding with the Democrats on anything is akin to claiming that HRC should be President instead of Trump. The Democrats need to dissolve these fears. They need to find some issues that the Republican Congress really wants and pledge to side with them to make them happen if they agree to a veto override. Trump may feel that the ultimate arbiters of the nation’s laws are his ‘fan base’ that just wants the wall at any cost. Time for Congress to definitively tell this fan base that they are wrong. Democrats, help your Republican colleagues do this.
Chinh Dao (Houston, Texas)
A new threat to our constitutional democracy has emerged via Trump's tweet "veto," and his public call for violence against the Congressional resolutions. The silent majority and all responsible lawmakers, as well as all officials and agencies, should defend our constitution at all costs.
Gerard (PA)
We should start talking up the possibility of Senate Republicans defending their chamber. Twelve is a significant number. See it as growing momentum. Now that there are twelve, it becomes safer to be thirteenth. Their example may encourage colleagues to reconsider the merits of the bill - and to change their vote when it is bounced (rejected). Once there is a sense that the wind is changing, there will be many rushing to get ahead of the condemnation of hindsight.
Geraldine Mitchell (London)
@Gerard Yes that first little break in the flood wall and the pressure of the water behind it will finish the job - hopefully!
esp (ILL)
@Gerard Sadly, the Republicans don't even listen to their fellow Republicans. They only listen to the their base. Of the 12, I think only one of them is up for reelection. The other 11 are all secure. Kudos to the one who is up for reelection for her courage and backbone.
Errol (Medford OR)
@Gerard I agree. There was not a veto-proof majority this time. But 12 is, as you say, a substantial number. It does make it much more likely that more would join them in future votes. And since it only takes 8 more out of the 41 other Republicans, it is certainly a substantial possibility. Trump may well veto and claim victory in attempt to put the best face he can on losing this vote. But I suspect that Trump got the message that the Senate sent.
Errol (Medford OR)
This action by 12 Republican senators is the most heartening behavior by either Republicans or Democrats since many Republicans turned on Nixon indicating that they would vote for impeachment unless Nixon resigned the presidency. This vote was very different than past votes in which Republicans acted in the manner of pure partisanship to back Trump. The difference is not simply that this time 12 Republicans voted against Trump. The difference this time is that the subject of the vote was not merely some policy issue or some appointment. Rather, this time the issue was abuse of presidential power. I am an anti-partisan. I expect Congressmen to act in partisan fashion on matters of mere policy. I don't like that they do, but that is how both Republicans and Democrats nearly always act, so I expect it. But when the issue is abuse of presidential power, then I think partisan voting is unpatriotic, a failure to do their duty to the Constitution and to protect the fundamental rights of the people. It is heartening that 12 Republican senators have stood up for the Constitution and for the people against tyranny. I rarely praise any politician. But these 12 deserve praise and respect for their action today.
Marie (Boston)
@Errol But unless Trump takes the message and doesn't veto the 12 will have still lost because they are only 12 among those who would surrender their power and responsibility to the king. Handing him his victory and rendering representatives redundant and moot. The 41 Tories in the Senate.
Carol (Key West, Fla)
@Errol There is a much bigger issue here for America, it is the belief that our Representatives are elected to do the "peoples" business. This demands that all whether the Legislature, Executive and Judicial not fall in line blindly to the party line and certainly anything anti-Constitutional. We should also mandate our Representatives can discern the difference between truth and lies. There should be no place for lying in American Government, it's bad business. This should be expected not only from Republicans, Independents but Democrats as well. Truly, better laws are written, correctly interpreted and funded when there is listening, speaking and compromise.
Errol (Medford OR)
@Carol As an anti-partisan, I very much agree with you. But partisanship is the rule among not only politicians but among much of the public as well (just read the comments in the Times to see that in ample evidence). We get to see honorable behavior by legislators only rarely. We just saw it in these 12 Republicans who voted to defend the Constitution and protect the people against Trump's abuse of power. I saw it once before in 1974 when Republicans told Nixon they would support impeachment, that he must resign immediately or he would be removed.
Emmy (Maryland)
Many of the senators that voted for the resolution likely only felt safe to do so because Collins, et al., had already ensured that they would not have to be the deciding 51st vote. Time will tell if these "mavericks" will again be so confident in doing the right thing when they actually have the opportunity to swing future legislation. I don't have high hopes.
Errol (Medford OR)
@Emmy I disagree. A Republican senator has a great deal more to lose by voting against Trump if the vote is unsuccessful than if it succeeds. Either way he antagonizes Trump. If the vote succeeds, then Trump's ability to strike back is muted by the support he will get from those in the Senate who were with him in veto-proof majority. But if the vote fails, then Trump's ability to strike back remains strong. Therefore, it takes fortitude to vote against Trump if the senator already knows that this vote will fail to attain veto-proof majority.
JM (San Francisco)
@Emmy The American people need to let those GOPers who chose Trump over the U.S. Constitution, that they will NOT be returning to office the next time they are up for re-election.
Alan (Georgetown, TX)
Here is my question for every Republican who voted to endorse Trump's emergency declaration ploy: One of the most important powers granted to the Congress in article I, section 8, of the Constitution is the "power of the purse"--i.e., the power to appropriate funds. Indeed, in today's climate, that may be the most important Congressional power. If you are willing to cede that power to Trump, or to any president, then why do you want to be a member of Congress at all?
Kajsa Williams (Baltimore, MD)
Lindsey Graham thought Trump's misuse of the "national emergency" option was very bad and yet he voted in support of Trump. This seems like putting party before country to me. What would John McCain have said if he saw Graham voting that way?
Allen82 (Oxford)
@Kajsa Williams I think your question assumes that Graham cares what others think of him, and since Senator McCain is no longer with us, Graham no longer has that standard to which he must account. In the end, Graham cares only about getting re-elected in 2020.
Will Flaherty (NYC)
Graham votes in lockstep with Trump now for what I fear is the same reason: they have both been compromised by the same Russian leader. And it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to deduce what Putin has on Lindsey.
John (North Carolina)
@Allen82 Precisely!
cherrylog754 (Atlanta, GA)
We still have 41 Senators that have scrapped the Constitution in favor of themselves. That's a deplorable showing, and it's led by Senate Majority Leader McConnell. I thank my stars every day I'm a Democrat.
Ken (Portland)
@cherrylog754 ... and most of the 12 who voted in against Trump's ridiculous 'emergency' did so based solely on cynical political calculus. Most of the 12 are in districts where reelection is more dependent on their ability to attract some independents in the general election than it is on their ability to overcome far-right Trumpsist Republicans in the primaries.
Steve Kennedy (Deer Park, Texas)
@cherrylog754 I'm an Independent who has problems with both parties, but I share your disgust with Mr. "Party Above Country" McConnell.
Kingfish52 (Rocky Mountains)
It's truly shameful that the Republican Party has devolved into a party solely interested in promoting its own interests above those of the American people. That is, it WOULD be shameful, if any of them could be shamed. Sadly, they are immune to conscience, and remorseless in their pursuit of power. But I believe a reckoning is coming, and I sense that these 12 "mavericks" know it too, as the past election might be a harbinger of the pendulum swinging the other way finally. A minority can rule over the majority for only so long before the majority reacts. What is true in physics is also true in politics: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Red Tide is receding; get ready for the Blue Wave.
Padfoot (Portland, OR)
Semi-independence at best. This vote was a freebee for the no-voting GOP senators because they know Trump will veto the bill. In other words, they could oppose Trump while not checking his agenda, and if this becomes a campaign issue they can create an argument to suit their base. Real independence would require a GOP senator to decry publicly and loudly President Trump's authoritarianism and his complete moral rot. I'm not holding my breath.
Andrew G. Bjelland, Sr. (Salt Lake City, Utah)
So far so good, but the majority of GOP legislators will support Trump’s veto. They are scared witless by the Trumpuglican base. Too many GOP politicians will choose self-interest and retention of personal political power over any concern for the nation’s welfare or democratic values, institutions and norms. In recognition of the existential threat to their political selves and to their party, ever so many current GOP politicians and their enablers will continue to employ the demagogue's favored tactics on a daily basis: gross oversimplification, fear mongering, scapegoating, emotional appeals, accusations that opponents are disloyal or weak, attacks on the news media, obstructive refusals of all compromise--and, yes, bald faced lies. Among the GOP's anti-democratic and demagogic strategies are: gerrymandering, voter suppression, appeals to divisive "social/moral" issues, identification with a shallow militaristic "patriotism" and a narrow "Christian" fundamentalism, and the branding of socially beneficial programs as instances of unquestionably evil "socialism." Trump must be thumped in 2020, if not within the next several months, and his enabler’s must be dumped.
Mountain Rose (Michigan)
I agree with most of the comments in the editorial. However, is it helpful to resort to name calling? Maybe Republicans don't like being called lackeys. Rather than making them more independent, perhaps it has the opposite effect.
serban (Miller Place)
12 senators is better than nothing but it only highlights the cowardice of the others. That they find it more important to back a sorry excuse of a man like Trump over the integrity of their own institution makes one wonder what they think the point of being a Senator is?
Cass phoenix (Australia)
One commentator (below) is grateful for "The rule of law and faithfulness to an oath of office is still given some chance" by some GOP Senators voting against the POTUS. Therein lies America's problem. As Tacitus noted: "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws". America has so many bad laws yet it seems so few people with a functioning moral compass and ethical spine to take a stand and call them out. How ludicrous it is that one individual (the POTUS) can bellow "Veto" to override the vote of the people's Congress because of bad laws which make the President above the law; where is the democracy in this absurdity? Until you can identify the moral imperative and the need for integrity to challenge and change so many bad laws made by those with the numbers to entrench their self interest, America will continue its decline into a dystopian dictatorship because the current 'rule of law', Mitch McConnell/Trump style, is clearly failing any meaningful democracy.
Jpkelly (Oregon)
Even after this president threatens that things could go 'bad, very bad', if his supporters take to the streets (these tough admirers being soldiers, cops, bikers and construction workers), the Republican members of the House and Senate are silent as usual. Scary? Yes. I know many members of the armed forces and a lot of great cops. Trump has no idea how quickly and easily they will decide if the choice is a corrupt president, or the defense of our laws and freedom. Spineless politicians such as Cruz, Graham, and Nunez are not the type of guys that I would cross the street for to avoid a confrontation. My daughter told me today that any of these Trump supporters may be just weak and selfish, but they have to be held accountable for the racism, corruption and insanity that Trump keeps producing. Their associated guilt is inescapable.
Thomas Wolf (nc)
Sadly, Trump has once again been proven right in a prescient statement he made during the campaign: he said he could shoot someone and his followers would not care. So it was with his voters and so it is now with the Republicans in Congress. They’ve hitched their wagon to the Trump political horse/bad and have no way off.
Pat (Nc)
Unbelievable! After all the embarrassing news from NC about the LGTB issues, campaign fraud from the Republican candidate that will necessitate a new election, gerrymandering case bouncing around the courts, recent state Constitutional amendments requiring picture ID s to vote (being challenged), NOW we have Senator Thom Tillis. He caved in to Trump's threat to primary him EVEN THOUGH he had an op-ed in the Washington Post stating that he would vote to prevent Trump's over-reach of his power. Totally humiliated. So looking forward to 2020 when NC has a chance to turn from red to blue.
Tony C (Portland, OR)
As a Democrat, I applaud the votes of these Republican Senators who are finally standing up to Trump's abuse of power. This vote is the kind of bipartisan unity that the American people are yearning for. By the end of Trump's presidency, a part of his infamous legacy will be that his hubris, foolishness, and flouting of basic presidential norms unified the American people together against him and his dangerous ineptitude.
RS (Durham, NC)
Other readers have astutely noted that the number of Republicans who declared their "independence" perfectly tallied to 59 when added to the Democrats. Just one vote shy of the requisites for overriding a veto -- what a coincidence! The truth is that Mitch McConnell rules over the Senate GOP with an iron fist. These are senators and they know the vote before it comes to the floor. Mitt Romney can crow all he likes about protecting the Constitution, but he has shown the worth of his words. If the GOP (read: Donald Trump) were actually in peril of losing a vote on the Senate floor, Mitt Romney and others like him would vote exactly as instructed. These politicians continue to act the role of the principled conservative that they've carefully preened over years in the public eye. They are counting on the fact that the public will forget all their groveling and hypocrisy. Do not allow these Republican senators to deceive you with false statements of independence. Ironically, the Trump administration has at least done the American people one great service. Trump has dispelled the illusion. All of these principled men together couldn't muster the remnants of a lumbar spine. The Times applauds the parlor tricks of Mitch McConnell as if they signify some change. Yet, these semi-independence statements have been the status quo since Trump gained power. Mitt Romney and his cadre have had ample opportunity for action. Their principles will return when they're out of power.
@RS Thank you. I've been waiting for someone in the media to point this out. This vote is not a big deal. It's business as usual.
MassBear (Boston, MA)
This vote was a chance for the GOP to feign integrity without having to pay any real price for the act. Unless the GOP in the House and Senate were willing to act en masse to create a veto-proof result, the outcome would be entirely predictable. An impotent slap on the Presidential wrist. Regrettably, it's exactly the same scenario that will face any effort to impeach Trump. Unless the Senate carries impeachment through with a conviction of the President in a Senate trial based upon articles of impeachment, it will all result in nothing other than a "rebuke". As Trump and the GOP long ago lost any sense of shame, it will not drive any real change. They all have to be voted out of office. Period.
“As for the rest of the Republican conference, it is increasingly, and depressingly, difficult to imagine what level of presidential outrage it would take to spur these lackeys to stand up for the integrity of their institution, much less the American people”. Therein is the problem with the Senate. Where has the institutional regard and integrity gone and why? Since the Senate is controlled by the GOP and McConnell, a known Senator with disregard for rules, protocols and other niceties of his position, we probably know who the scoundrel is.
J.B. (NYC)
For something so obviously sensible and proper to be viewed as such an outrageous deviation from the norm says something ugly about our politics in general and Trump’s Republican Party in particular. I don’t think the Republicans who voted to thwart Trump did anything more than uphold their oath of office. Those that didn’t, need to spend less time worrying about Trump’s vindictive streak and more time studying the Constitution. I believe if sticking to your principles never forces you to make unpopular choices, you probably don’t really have principles. If your first priority is remaining popular with a corrupt authority, aren’t you inevitably going to be judged as corrupt too? Or, as in the crime family movies, is loyalty to the Don more important than the rule of law -even to so-called lawmakers? I guess in Trump’s GOP, where blatantly self-serving dishonesty and laziness have served the President well, all the little wanna-be Trumps assume being lazy and ethically “flexible” are two surefire strategies for success. It’s up to all of us in 2020 to prove these spineless sycophants wrong. Since Trump obviously has no wish to drain the swamp, we need to do it for him.
Blackmamba (Il)
A " crack" in the solidarity of the Republican Party majority in this vote is a meaningless symbolic gesture. Because most Republicans stood with the President in enough numbers to overturn his veto. This is " much ado about nothing" , but posturing, preening and pretending to having political principles grounded in the American divided limited different power constitutional republic of united states.
Texan in Umbria (Italy)
After only 20 Republicans voted for the resolution in the House, the vote in the Senate was largely symbolic, as far as overriding the veto. It does, however, give us an indication of those members who are unwilling to put Country/Constitution over party/re-election and again shows us the ongoing hypocrisy of the gop vis-à-vis separation of power the Constitution, and outrage of executive overreach. This vote was always about exposing the members of both houses to this light. Come election day, let's not forget those members in the House and Senate who voted against the resolution.
Texan in Umbria (Italy)
@Texan in Umbria Duh - evidently I can neither read nor type on my phone. It was 13 gop reps who broke ranks, not 20.
Nan Socolow (West Palm Beach, FL)
President Trump confided to us that he didn't need to use his Executive Privilege to build his wall. His power and contempt for the rule of law in America are begging to be removed. Most of the Senate's republicans, sheep, remained in Trump's fold. The president tweeted "VETO!" after the vote. How long will Trump hold onto his power by social media? "Stand by me!" he commanded the GOP. We learned from the wars of the 20th century that countries can't strike deals with dictators. By hook or crook, Trump's cadre will be leaving his Titanic soon. Tear down that wall, Donald!
Anne-Marie Hislop (Chicago)
"much less the American people" Yes, much less the American people. Let that sink in. These are the men and women elected to represent the American people. Yet, they value that calling much less than they value staying out of the twitter fire of our immature, unhinged president. They value their responsibility to the American people much less than they value party loyalty. They value it less than they value staying on the good side of the NRA and right-wing talk radio. Plainly they value holding onto their seats far more than they value actually representing the American people in the term for which they have already been elected. Much less the American people - very much less, indeed.
steve (corvallis)
I've lost track of the editorials heralding the beginning of the end of Trump's groping stranglehold on the republican party, and here's yet another. Please stop. The sentiment here -- that this is a noteworthy development -- is nice, but it's beyond Pollyanish and outright wrong. The vote is meaningless. All it does is give cover to a handful of senators who need to say "look, I stood up to Trump" when they're up for re-election. When the votes mattered, like the lying, alcohol-soaked Kavanaugh and the giant tax ripoff for corporations and the filthy rich, where were these pillars of rectitude? I'd be surprised if the republican role call wasn't planned well in advance.
Tim (Chicago)
I'm relieved that this piece ended by encouraging the reader to contemplate "what level of presidential outrage it would take to spur these [Republican] lackeys to stand up for the integrity of their institution, much less the American people." It's a shame that so many articles about this story are expressing amazement at how many Republicans stood up against Trump, instead of despair at how few stood up for democracy.
chickenlover (Massachusetts)
What is striking in this vote is that 41 senators still stood with Trump and his manufactured national emergency. What is even more striking is that there are nearly 40% American citizens who still stand with Trump. Our democracy is dying, bit by bit, at the hands of the ignorant, gullible, and apathetic citizenry.
EB (Maryland)
These few dissenting Republicans do not have a spine. Having a spine is having the moral courage to stand up and speak out against Trump, when he is at his worst- and NONE of them really ever take a stand against him. There has been no real blow back or public rebuke on the part of the Republicans in Congress about Trump's implied threat: "I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad. " When we have Republicans pulling together to say have a news conference, for example, condemning this kind rhetoric and suggestion from Trump that his supporters will "go rogue" for him, then you can write and say they have a spine. Until then, no.
Anne (Portland)
"President Trump’s red wall in the Senate cracks. A bit." May it be so. And it's really sad it has taken so long for them to show a modicum of integrity. And that so many Republicans are still supporting Trump's insanity.
Frank (Brooklyn)
once again,good old Ben Sasse,the author of preachy books about raising children and moral values, bows down to the great God Trump. one wonders what it would take, what kind of outrageous conduct would be enough to draw him away from his master.I really don't mind the usual run of the mill Trump supporters in the Congress,but I cannot abide the utterly rank hypocrisy of Ben Sasse.
Leigh (Qc)
As reported by Chris Hayes tonight, Trump is boasting the military and the bikers are one his side implicitly threatening violence should things not go his way. So maybe the red wall in the senate's not all that's cracking.
Javaforce (California)
I think once enough Republicans in Congress find the courage to stand up to the bully who is the POTUS others will stand up to him. I think the whole country misses John McCain's and his ability to stand tall for what he thinks is right. I think Trump's scaring the the daylights out of all the Republicans in Congress is starting to fade.
John Smith (Cherry Hill, NJ)
TRUMP THE CHUMP GOT DUMPED By the GOPpers who have some integrity and backbone. This is the first drop in what will morph into a flood of opposition against Trump and the GOPpers. Now he could shoot down Broadway and lose some votes. (DISCLAIMER The description of Trump shooting down Broadway is a repetition of his own words. No harm is intended toward the person of the president.).
LC (Florida)
The border wall is a symbol of hate, divisiveness and fearmongering. Let all of us, including the press, call it for what it is ; The Trump Wall.
Al Singer (Upstate NY)
The forces of conformity in politics have always been apparent. Usually this facet of political science is demonstrated on ideas that have some merit, but provoke strong dissent creating the need for party unity. Now we see this obsequious conformity rear it's cowardly head on a a blasphemous proposal. A joke. A campaign shiny object that originated from a joke of a man, Roger Stone, so that the future president* would remember to talk about immigration. We are getting a close look at how dictators are born. Men like Thom Tillis, a rich businessman backed by richer businessmen are the face of the Republican Senate. Maybe now citizens of NC will finally realize that men like Tillis vote to preserve Party, to enhance his chances of re-election rather than on principle or in their best interests.
mlb4ever (New York)
Trump should hope he never gets the funding to actually build his wall. An actual wall will be proof positve to do nothing in stopping illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Also he will have lost his biggest dog whistle. "I built that wall" doesn't have the same ring to it.
Kajsa Williams (Baltimore, MD)
Republicans who thought this pseudo emergency and voted against it, put their country first. They had courage and integrity. Republicans who thought this was a bad idea but voted for it put party before country and they ought to be embarrassed. Republicans who thought it was a good idea and voted for it feel differently from me but at least were true to themselves.
Kajsa Williams (Baltimore, MD)
Republicans who thought this pseudo emergency was a bad idea and voted against it, put their country first. They had courage and integrity. Republicans who thought this was a bad idea but voted for it put party before country and they ought to be embarrassed. Republicans who thought it was a good idea and voted for it feel differently from me but at least were true to themselves.
Anne Taub (Homeworth)
As a liberal in northeast Ohio I’m extremely happy that senator Rob Portman stood up against this horrible pseudo emergency declared by President trump. Good for you senator Portman
Old Ben (Philly Philly)
Trump Vetos Republicans. Now if he would just Veto himself, everybody could be happy.
By George (Tombstone, AZ)
I, Martha McSally, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, unless it is inconvenient for me to do so, in which case I'll show how completely unworthy I was to be handed the gift of John McCain's empty seat.
RK (Long Island, NY)
The tide may be turning. Finally and thankfully.
Jordan Davies (Huntington Vermont)
While I applaud the votes of these republicans the ones who have the real power, Mitch McConnell specifically, still obey the leader. Either they are spineless or they are true believers; probably the latter.
ARL (New Jersey)
Hopefully, this is a beginning where legislators from both parties say enough is enough!! However, it's only a hope. Overall, this President has gotten away with too much and Congress needs to reign him more. Only if these type of actions occur and somebody explains to Mr. Trump that he doesn't get everything he wants will we have a functioning government again. Let's just hope more of the same occurs in the future!!!
Matt (NJ)
Romney's comments are completely and totally hollow. The actual Law that permits the exact action by Mr Trump was passed by the Congress. If Congress passes a bad law they should repeal the law or pass an amendment to the bad law that they passed. Congress has given away power to the executive branch for a long time. They have done damage to the country rather than do their job. Attacking a president because they have a policy disagreement relating to a law that they passed is childish. House and Senate members need to do their job and stop attacking others for their failure to legislate. The concept of balance of power is a great one. Congress should stop passing laws that changes that balance. Do your job and stop the sound bite creations, it's hollow!
Marie (Boston)
@Matt - "Law that permits the exact action by Mr Trump" You know what that is? That is thief thinking. And it is exactly kind of "how can I take advantage of this" that criminal and Trump specialize in. What can I get away with? Everyone understood the nature of a emergency and expected the president would act within that meaning. They also didn't want to proscribe the definition of an emergency counting on the actions of a president with good intentions. They wanted to make the ability to override the declaration veto proof but were told that they could not. Yes, it was a poorly written law but Trump did not have take advantage of it by disingenuously declaring an emergency to get funding by another means. Trump specializes in thief thinking and is supported by those would game the systems themselves.
ChristineMcM (Massachusetts)
"More important, the Senate Republicans’ rebuke of the president shows that his chronic contempt for democratic norms — and for the Constitution — has become too much to stomach for at least some in his party." Whoa, not so fast! This "rebuke" was a safe vote, because of president's ability to run away laughing because he still controls the rest of the Republicans with his iron fist. When push comes to shove, I doubt there is anything they will stand up for, unless it hits them personally--an unlikely event since slavishness to Mr. Trump has become their number one job retention requirement. I doubt any of them recognize what they're doing: putting a forced "loyalty" to an autocratic president ahead of constitutional principles. In the arc of history, all it takes is "good men to do nothing" in the face of evil. The president has grabbed power from Congress, and only 12 GOP senators are willing to rebuke him for it? Chip a little here, chip a lot over there, and pretty soon, democracy is gone.
merc (east amherst, ny)
We can only hope this is the beginning of the return of common-sense moderation in everyday politics, what disappeared when the Tea Party, a decade ago, surfaced. Remember those raucus Town Hall meetings?- when they shouted down anyone opposing them, and by the way were totally ignored by local officials? And let's not forget, the Tea Party was embraced by Paul Ryan, with their success remaining a part of his legacy but something he's seldom recognized for. Remember the Young Guns- Eric Cantor, he, and Kevin McCarthy-yes, that same House Leader Kevin McCarthy we have today?
AS Pruyn (Ca)
Maybe the Republicans in the Congress should go back and read the words of the Founding Fathers with regards to which branch of government should predominate. In Federalist 51, Madison talks about the checks and balances between the three parts of the Federal government. He thinks they should all have checks against the others, but he also says that, “In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.” He believed this, in part, because the legislature is closest to the people in our country. Note that “republican” is not capitalized, meaning it refers to the form of government not the name of a political party. I find it interesting (and very sad) that the “conservative” party has to use complex and unsustainable arguments to claim that what they want is what the Founding Fathers wanted, especially when there is a wealth of solid, historical information that shows what the Founding Fathers actually thought. And all too often what the Founding Fathers said does not match what the “conservatives” think.
Sophiew7530 (Maine)
One more vote was needed to make this resolution veto proof. In as much as some effort was made by the likes of Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and some others, these GOP Senators still look and act like lackeys. Since they obviously do not have the courage to lift their out of the sand and generally cater to the whims of this President, We, the People only have one resource left: that is to vote them out in 2020.
D. DeMarco (Baltimore)
If there are any Republicans left that still respect the values that made them conservatives, they will vote to overturn Trump's veto. What do Republicans stand for? An unfettered president who plunders at will to fund what he desires? Or a strong Senate that does it's job and puts the Constitution before the president's whims? The Senate is elected by the We the People. Not appointed by the president. Remember who you work for. We will in 2020.
Allen82 (Oxford)
Don't imply that credit is due to the "Republicans" for this modest rebuke. The "president" just stated on Brietbart that “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump,” and that his supporters would stand for a limited amount of political decisions that they opposed - then take action - presumably on trumps command. Words of a dictator that every "Republican" should take seriously and yet, they do not.
Frau Greta (Somewhere in NJ)
Did any of those 12 Republicans speak out against the extreme threat of thug violence to his political opponents made by Trump yesterday? He basically said “HIS police, military, and bikers” couldn’t be controlled if their emotions were provoked. Coming from anyone but Trump, that threat would have put a person in jail. But not a peep from any Republican. Think about that for a minute. The President of the United States threatened his political opponents, and anyone else who dared to be disloyal to him, with a severe beating. And yet, crickets from the right (and most of the media). I suspect this triplet of votes yesterday (Yemen, the national emergency powers, the resolution to release Mueller’s full report to the public) was an anomaly, some of them made after an explicit okay behind closed doors from Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, with careful calculations as to who was safe enough electorally to make the public believe at least SOME had a conscience.
totyson (Sheboygan, WI)
Do you suppose the president knows a tweet is not sufficient, and that he actually has to sign a veto?
Thomas Alton (Philadelphia)
The US Senate's vote to nullify Trump's fake 'state of emergency' (I'm happy to see that my Republican Senator, Pat Toomey, was among the courageous Republicans who voted for the nullification) puts Trump in a quandary. When Trump was a teenager, NBC aired a new game show named Concentration. The object of that game was to pick pairs of numbers that revealed matching prizes or 'actions' ('take one gift'; 'forfeit one gift'; 'wild card'). When a matching pair of numbers was called, the matching pair revealed a portion of a rebus puzzle that featured pictures that, when combined, spelled out a phrase that a player had to indicate, if he or she were to win the round and get the collected prizes on his/her rack. Due to his insistence on a Wall, Trump is bound to veto the nullification legislation. He may also be bound to see a future revival of Concentration on TV, where it may show a winning puzzle that features a word formed by a picture of a donkey + a picture of a hole in the ground.
pedigrees (SW Ohio)
As an Ohioan, I am *astounded* that Portman actually broke ranks and voted as if he possesses a spine. Based on his past voting record I suspect that it is a temporary situation. I hope he proves me wrong but I'm not going to hold my breath. I am, however, going to call his office today and thank him. (Well, I'll thank him if I can, they never answer the phone at any of his offices and it seems they never empty the voicemail either. You'd almost think he didn't want to hear from his constituents. But somehow he always finds the time and has willingness to meet with "business" groups.) I'd urge anyone else whose Senator voted the same way to call and express their feelings as well. They don't really care what we think but maybe, just maybe, it will give them pause when they think about their chances in the next election.
Gordon Alderink (Grand Rapids, MI)
Hopefully, Mueller's report will be as damaging as when Nixon's tapes were exposed and Republicans will have no choice but to ask for his resignation. On the other hand, Senate Republican support thus far is made in the face of overwhelming evidence of Trump's lack of fitness for our highest office, so I am not optimistic.
Julian Fernandez (Dallas, Texas)
@Gordon Alderink The Mueller report will need to open with the all-caps, 48-point headline, TRUMP COMMITS TREASON, to turn 20 Republican senators against him. And I'm not sure they wouldn't defend him then if it meant fending off a primary challenge from the even-farther right and staying in the good graces of the Kochs and Mercers. Your pessimism is well founded.
DRS (Boston MA)
Cheers to the NYT Editorial Board for specifying in the editorial the names of 12 GOP Senators who voted against giving up their powers which voters and the constitution granted them. It would be too much to write the 190 names of GOP Congressional Reps and 41 Senators who voted to give away their rights and showed their constituents they cannot be trusted to stand by their oath. However, during the next campaign in their districts opposing candidates will remind voters.
Souvient (St. Louis, MO)
While I am heartened to see a small measure of sanity from Republican senators, I suspect this is but a momentary lapse. Trump holds them in his thrall. Whatever they make think in the private recesses of their minds or say behind closed doors, they are ostensibly with the President on everything that matters. What are we doing in Yemen? We're certainly not making any friends. It certainly seems like a war, and I remember no such declaration by Congress. Having relinquished their constitutional right to declare war, it seems Congress will ultimately yield the power of the purse. This poses a major problem. The constitutional system of checks and balances is predicated on the idea that each branch of government would jealously guard its enumerated powers while attempting to expand its implied ones. Too many senators and congressmen have stopped doing their jobs. It seems most now believe their primary function to be reelection. Simultaneously, as obsequious and mewling as they seem to be, a handful or two just called an intermission in this farcical play we're all forced to watch. If I were a betting man, I'd guess they'll return to their seats for the second act. After all, they'll want to be in-place for a standing ovation should the opportunity arise.
Jason Sypher (Bed-Stuy)
It will be interesting to see what kind of retribution will be delved out from DT to those who (finally), after weighing out the threats, decided to vote responsibly. In this gaslit era we are enduring it is refreshing to see, in a flicker of the flame, the potential for reason to re-enter the national discourse. “Never go against the family” came to mind...
C.L.S. (MA)
Twelve votes, eight more to go. If 20 Republican senators are prepared to confront Trump, that's the magic number for conviction if there is ever an impeachment proceeding. That's cutting it very close, and Trump had best be very cautious. Or, he could indeed make history being the first president to be impeached and actually thrown out of office via conviction by the United States Senate.
DRS (Boston MA)
Trump knows that power is hard to obtain. If he dole out retribution to GOP Senators he’ll see power is easy to lose.
The opening of a "crack" in the Republican Senate opposing Trump is superficial in the long run. The deep fissures of division still exist and will continue to exist between Republicans and Democrats despite this bipartisan resolution. Each party's fundamental political and social values remain implacable. How can the Democrats and Republicans ever compromise their fundamental differences on issues like tge role of government, the judiciary, race, immigration, environmental protection, abortion, religion, voting rights, gun control, prison reform, gay rights, education, taxation, human rights, strong relations with allies, humanitarian aid, and of course, support of an amoral unfit president? The passage of the resolution may be a hopeful bipartisan response to presidential overreach but it will take a tectonic shift to bring the two disparate parties together on so many more issues.
S.Einstein (Jerusalem)
"...(Semi-) Independence..." is part of the same semantic surrealism as an as --yet-uncreated concept, process and outcome as "semi-personal, semi- unaccountability," of all-too-many national,semi-faux-elected and selected policymakers daily engaged in semi-complacency and semi-complicity. Focusing on both parties, their mantrafying words, and done-deeds, doesn't absolve US in our enabling of an everpresent, created, toxic, violating WE-THEY culture. Of our own daily choices NOT to contribute to making a difference which makes a sustainable difference for viable, needed menschlichkeit. "...tectonic shift(s)..." do not have the choice of being accountable, or not. Each of US, by our selves, as well as with others-kin, neighbors, friends, strangers-in-whatever-ways, DO! Choices for our voices for mutual civility. Mutal trust. Mutal Respect.Mutual help, when and if needed. Mutual, sustainable bridge-building. Mutual wellbeing-barrier-blocking. Mutual enabling of equitable sharing of limited human and non-human resources which are critical for quality-of-life. In daily life and not just as a term. In safe havens. At home. In neighborhoods. In streets, which are more than just for walking. Schools. At work. In stores and markets. At leisure. As well as times and sites of spirituality and prayer. At unexpected emergencies which are an integral dimension of reality and its ever-present uncertainties. Unpredictabilities. Randomness. The gift of choosing to BE accountable.
AJ (trump towers basement)
"Blind loyalty" to a president who delivers a dream list of the most extreme Republican fantasies, makes plenty of sense for diehard Republican Party loyalists. But for politicians who love America and want to do what is best for the country and its people, "loyalty" to our common best interests should be the "trump" they guide their actions with. The old "woulda, coulda, shoulda." Even a little progress by Republicans to reduce eventual national interest regrets is good. Still, it leaves one wishing that national interests drove all their decisions, scheming and action (not just some stuff at the margins).
Hector (Sydney, Australia)
@AJ I agree with you, except I'd add the world's interests - difficult that may be to find, but it does not rest in torturers and far right "leaders" amassing stockpiles. I don't think America should aim to be "great" again - look where that got the "UK empire", crumbling into farce and Tory threats of starving the population. The best would be a modest, democratic America - hardly a mark of a Republicanism now even worse than imaginable. But these votes are signs of change: of course maybe only fleeting but ...
Polaris (New York)
The point is not the few Republican senators and representatives who have begun to show a glimmer of integrity to maintain the checks and balances system the founders intended. The point is the vast majority of Republican lawmakers who have not. Those who keep voting for them year after year are either living in a bubble, don't have an ounce of sense, or both.
Madeline Conant (Midwest)
This probably could have been avoided but Trump lacks the energy, interest, inclination and knowledge to discuss and lobby the issue with senators in his own party. He doesn't understand the concept of separation of powers and isn't interested in it.
varine (Seattle)
Unfortunately, I am now cynical enough to believe a vote of 59 was a craven attempt to give moderate GOP incumbents cover for the next election, not a real attempt to thwart Mr. Trump's craven attempt to undermine our Constitution. If it was the real thing, why stop one vote short of upholding the vote against his veto?
David (Denver, CO)
@varine -- it takes 67 votes to override a veto. -- Cory Gardner, the most embattled Republican senator in the 2020 election cycle (my state -- Colorado), chose not to vote for the resolution. He clearly doesn't want any cover, he's all in for Trump.
David (Chile)
@David Well, I'm a native Coloradan, now living and working in Chile. Nonetheless, I still vote in every national, state and local election. I can say that regarding Cory Booker, I never voted for him in the past and I sure as hell ain't going to vote for him ever. Colorado Blue Wave Tuesday Nov.3rd 2020!!!
varine (Seattle)
@David Thanks for the correction. And my condolences on Gardner. Better luck in 2020.
There are about 20 GOP Senators up for re-election in 2020. Those voting ‘No’ on today’s measure should be up against strong democratic opposition to oust them and retake a majority.
WDG (Madison, Ct)
Today's vote was valuable in giving us the membership of the Russian sleeper cell that has infiltrated the Republican party. Some talking heads are surprised that Cory Gardner (Colorado) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) voted against their publicly pronounced consciences and sided with Trump. The thinking goes that they've left themselves wide open to a challenge in the 2020 election. This way of thinking is childish. Gardner and Tillis are now both extremely wealthy men thanks to the largesse of Vladimir Putin. They will go through the motions of trying to hold on to their seats, but the truth is that they could now care less. The Republicans voting with Trump are counting on the hope that Americans would dare not accuse them of treason. But we know the truth. Trump is now threatening a government overthrow if he loses the election. Bear this in mind: Republicans voted to support Trump AFTER hearing him make this threat. What is an intelligent person supposed to think?
GBM (Newark, CA)
A majority of Senate Republicans were upset enough at Trump's high-handed appropriation of their prerogatives that they defied him for one vote. But this rare defense of their constitutional powers is nothing but an empty exercise unless the Senate starts doing its job by passing bills and conducting oversight over the Executive Branch.
jeroen (Netherlands)
@GBM A minority, you mean?
GBM (Newark, CA)
@jeroen Right, that's what I should have written. thanks for pointing it out.
Vivien Hessel (So cal)
I didn’t vote for Romney for pres but I always believed he was a good guy. He still is.
Jane (Connecticut)
So relieved to hear that there are republicans who put the Constitution above party. I applaud their courage.
NYer (NYC)
Political posturing only. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Republicans conferred and made sure that there were enough "no" votes to generate op-ed pieces but definitely NOT enough to indicate a veto override.
Helensi (NC)
@NYer Sadly, cynically, agree. Please tell me where we can go from here.
Ronald B. Duke (Oakbrook Terrace, Il.)
I suppose Republicans have to start thinking about the future, either in 2020, or certainly 2024; the need to find a successor to Mr. Trump. Republican hopefuls have to begin staking-out their own probably more moderate positions. At this point Mr. Romney looks like the obvious choice, but the future's still a long way off.
Alexandra Brockton (Boca Raton)
I think that many GOP members of the House and the Senate have finally had enough. They may be taking baby steps.....but they will learn to walk steadily eventually. I do believe, with my fingers crossed, that this is the beginning of the GOP deciding that Trump's "base" can be retained by another GOP presidential candidate ---- winning the nomination in the primaries if he insists on running for reelection, or if he decides not to run for election, just flat out winning the nomination and winning against the Democrat nominee. And that everything in their Congressional world, and in their personal lives from the moment they wake up in the morning until the moment they fall asleep at night...... would be better if they could get rid of Trump. At some point, in many cases, even a hostage decides to risk his/her life to escape. And, in many cases, even an abused child or adult decides to harm or even kill the abuser.
Murfski (Tallahassee)
@Alexandra Brockton It may be possible for Trump's base to be retained under another candidate. But it seems to me that, in order to accomplish this, the replacement would have to be very similar to Trump. I don't see that as much of an improvement.
jas2200 (Carlsbad, CA)
It's easy for a few Republican Senators to vote against a disapproval resolution when they know that there won't be enough of them to override Trump's veto. Trump gets what he wants and they look like they are standing up to his power grab.
Jerry Farnsworth (Camden NY)
@jas2200 Exactly so. We'll see who - even among these paltry twelve, supposedly more "principled and courageous" anti-disciples - actually man and woman up to over-ride the the inevitable Oval Office "Tweeto Veto."
Susan Fitzwater (Ambler, PA)
He bellowed, "I shall not be beat!"--so He plans a peremptory veto. The rest of us plan To resist as we can. Do we tremble at him and his tweet? NO!
akhenaten2 (Erie, PA)
I'm so glad that the Republican senator voted yes, along with our Democratic senator--so glad that I must comment thankfully here. The rule of law and faithfulness to an oath of office is still given some chance. I'm a registered Democrat and was yet again more than disappointed that the Republican congressman from my district went with Trump. The man got re-elected last November to continue to wreak havoc, much with the help and to the delight of the rural, white citizens in the two counties south of Erie county where I live. He goes next election, I sincerely hope.
Richard (Wisconsin)
Sen. Ron Johnson, continuing to embarrass the state of Wisconsin and our country. Russ Feingold would have had the independence to stand up to this unconstitutional power grab.
Joel Sanders (Montgomery, AL)
@Richard Isn’t Feingold a Democrat? Makes your point kind of moot.
Richard (Wisconsin)
@Joel Sanders Yes, but he is of an independent mind and would not vote in lockstep with either party. Johnson votes 100% with Trump.
sdw (Cleveland)
The New York Times Editorial Board correctly assesses what a reliably untrustworthy person Donald Trump proves himself to be on a daily basis. The Board laments that so many of the Republicans in Congress – particularly in the Senate – keep deferring to a president who bullies them, tells them lies and insults them publicly. The Board expresses frustration that it is “difficult to imagine what level of presidential outrage it would take to spur these lackeys to stand up for the integrity of their institution, much less the American people.” Actually, “presidential outrage” will never make men and women without strength of character do the right thing. The only stimulus which will work on these Republican politicians is fear of having their constituents turn against them. Democrats and responsible journalists need to continue stoking that Republican fear of being unemployed.
Mark Thomason (Clawson, MI)
@sdw -- "Democrats and responsible journalists" are not what they fear. They don't care about that. Their focus is on their most core base that votes in the Republican primary. Did any of this touch that base, even a little bit? Romney and Rand Paul are outsiders to that group. There is a long way to go before we get to what is needed.
Ivansima (San Diego, CA)
@sdw. Hah! If you can afford it, send money to groups setting up "warchests" to fund McConnell's Dem opponent in 2020. It is fun.
Jonathan (Brooklyn)
"As for the rest of the Republican conference, it is increasingly, and depressingly, difficult to imagine what level of presidential outrage it would take to spur these lackeys to stand up for the integrity of their institution, much less the American people." It isn't difficult to imagine. It absolutely won't happen. What's difficult to imagine is a higher level of presidential outrage. Mr. Trump shoots this country in the middle of the street on a regular basis.
william hayes (houston)
Congress gave the president emergency powers that may be exercised only in a true emergency. Here, Congress considered and rejected money to protect our borders. Consequently, Congress sees no emergency. It may be wrong, but President Trump has no right to overrule.
Mark Thomason (Clawson, MI)
@william hayes -- "only in a true emergency" should be the rule. It has not been since the law passed. It has seen routine use, for sometimes petty things. The whole concept of this law is a problem, and has been since it was passed in 1976.
totyson (Sheboygan, WI)
@Mark Thomason As you are aware, it has never, ever been used to overrule a co-equal branch of government. The true emergency lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Clyde (Pittsburgh)
Much ado about nothing. Posturing by the GOP Senators who voted aye. They know a veto is coming, so why should we praise their intentions? They saw a safe way to try and show off their independent bona fides, but it's just politicking....
Frink Flaven (Denver)
As a Colorado resident, I saw glimpses of a spine from Cory Gardner, speaking against the government shutdown. As usual, however, when it came down to how would vote, he once again cowered to Trump, putting loyalty to Trump above loyalty to the Constitution, thereby sealing his fate that he will not win re-election in 2020.
thomas briggs (longmont co)
@Frink Flaven Let us hope that you are right about 2010. More to the point, let's put our money and our time into supporting his opponent.
Judy Pecsok (Castle Rock, CO)
@Frink Flaven The endorsement by the Denver Post in 2014 was the reason that I cancelled my subscription. He does not deserve to be re-elected and, hopefully, won’t be. What a spineless worm.
Steven McCain (New York)
Is the bar set so low in the age of Trump that 12 Senators acting like they have some chutzpah are congratulated? If The Congress would override a Trump veto that would be real independence. The story today should have been Mitch McConnell's refusal to even vote on a motion to release The Mueller Report. Twenty-Two Republican Senators not cowering to Trump overriding his veto would be news. We are so bereft of true governing we are down to lauding a crack in the Red Wall? Someone needs to remind The Senators unwilling to buck Trump that they were elected to do the people business not to carry water for Trump. Not a real profile in courage in my book.
Mark Thomason (Clawson, MI)
@Steven McCain -- Yes, except there has never been a veto to over ride before this. They've never said "no" to anything. Anything.
Dewey (Bx NY)
How embarrassing it is today for the true American RepublicanConservatives who are trying to defend the actions and votes of these bought imposters and clueless president. Please save some energy so you can begin making the proper arrangements for your party’s funeral.
It would be a "big deal" if more than 12 Republicans stood up to DJT. Not holding my breath to wait for that.
Errol (Medford OR)
@KKW It would take 67 senators to override a veto. They got 59 this time including 12 Republicans . If 12 Republicans are willing to vote against Trump's abuse of presidential power, it is not a stretch to image that just 8 more of the 41 remaining Republicans would join them in such a vote on a future Trump abuse of power. I find that encouraging.
Andy (Salt Lake City, Utah)
The morally correct thing to do would be to pass the resolution, override the veto, AND limit a president's ability to abuse the Emergency Act. It seems odd no one is bothering to pursue the measure regardless of this President's future actions. Democrats just passed the resolution. Why not introduce an emergency limitation and ask Lee to sign that as well?
Kajsa Williams (Baltimore, MD)
@Andy They haven't reached a point where they can admit that Trump was a mistake. They will probably never reach that point.
John Grillo (Edgewater, MD)
Tillis of North Carolina emerges as the Republican Congressional “poster boy” for possessing a collapsed spine, being one of the first to heartily support this resolution. That is, until he learned that doing so would result in a primary challenge when he seeks re-election in 2020. How do these people sleep?
Randy Jones (Raleigh, NC)
@John Grillo A primary challenge will be the first, but not the least of Thom Tillis's worries in 2020. Really bad optics, Sen. Tillis.
JL (Los Angeles)
@Randy Jones Tillis managed to alienate everyone with his weakness. Even his MAGA crowd will see that he could be vulnerable to centrist persuasion ( the provisions of the Constitution ) at any time so he needs to go . He will get primaried on the right by a rabid Tea Party candidate - maybe Mark Meadows - but even if he wins, Trump faces a Democrat in an increasingly blue state which suffers enough embarrassment with Trump enabler Richard Burr.
scott k. (secaucus, nj)
@John Grillo How do these people sleep? They don't deserve to sleep.
alan haigh (carmel, ny)
Wow, we have 7 Pub senators willing to admit that the need to build a wall is not, in fact, a national emergency. This really has my hopes soaring that maybe we can get a similar number from that party to stop lying about climate science and admit that confronting global warming is a national emergency. And then there's is the state of American health care. Can we get a few of them together to admit that our chaotic and insanely expensive system is an emergency also, crippling our economy and leaving millions uninsured.
Sandra (Texas)
@alan haigh they voted against his use of the National Emergency use. When Democrats vote against all things the President does they left him no choice. There is an emergency at the border with the projection of 1 million illegals coming across the border this fiscal year. The numbers have risen greatly with the Democrats obstruction of containing the invasion. They have essentially told those who want to exploit our resources that we are no longer a country because countries have borders and control immigration. The current system,which no party has fixed, is allowing uncontrollable illegal entry because of catch and release.
Sissy (Louisiana)
@Sandra The only emergency at the border has been CREATED by trump simply to keep his base riled up. People at the border have a LEGAL RIGHT given to them by the US to enter and ask for asylum. The only people breaking OUR LAW is the trump administration.
theox (nj)
@Sandra I think sometimes people who only watch Fox should look at the administration,s own statistics!In"catch and release" NINETY-SEVEN percent of those who enter return for their court dates! That,s the reason they came to the border in the first place;to be adjudicated for legal entry! The swollen number in the past TWO MONTHS(only) is because of Trump,s own policy threats that harsher conditions might prevail in the near future. As an aside, there are 7,000,000 jobs that are not filled at this moment because Americans are not currently qualified to to hold them. We need immigrants now, we needed them in the past, we will need them in the future. To bad if they are not European. No EU person would think of coming here under our present conditions!
Eero (Proud Californian)
Congress, it's time for you to stand up and do the right thing and vote to override the expected vetoes of both of these bills. Your oath is to protect and enforce the constitution. The power to control spending and to protect against unwanted and unsupported wars is the core of your job. Both of these issues are strongly supported by a majority of Americans. If you aren't willing to do your job, you should resign.
Robert Schneider (Hartford)
Wish some democrats had the courage to vote against the party line. Might be a different situation in this country. Unfortunately, guess we will have to wait until 2020. Maybe a democrat will win, so all of the congress can vote along a different party line, and we will go back into gridlock. Someone has to end this cycle of destruction. Maybe the Republicans can muster a few across the row votes and make some changes, since all the democrats are content running for President and pushing the "sound bite" agenda.
Glen (Texas)
@Robert Schneider If you mean Democrats who would vote contrary to the wording an meaning of the Constitution so your favorite president could get an "X" in the "Win" column, allow me the privilege of hoping there is not a single one.
Narwhal (Washington State)
After some years following how the Republican senatorial caucus lacks even an iota of individual independence, I have a different take on those twelve republicans, who help make a 59 total. More likely, a ring leader, maybe McConnell himself, asked for no more than 12 volunteers to vote with the Democrats. That way they send the message that Trump has now gone too far in his disdain for the Constitution. It's a jungle display to show they have a spine, that they know that the very purpose of their own Congress, now and in the future, is on the chopping block. But stopping at 12, not 13 and certainly never 14, the R's also make it abundantly clear that the Democratic resolution has no chance to rise above Trump's veto.
james (Higgins Beach, ME)
@Narwhal My sentiments exactly, except that there are no Republicans left--they're all Trumpers now. #45 bought, destroyed, chopped up and resold the old GOP; unfortunately, it's even worse.
@Narwhal Bravo!!! is such a pleasure to peruse a peice that deals in reality.
See also