"The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass". Trump declared an emergency last month to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build border barriers after Congress voted to provide him with less than $1.4 billion for barrier construction.
Lee's so-called Article One Act could give political leverage to Republicans who believe the executive branch has too much power, but don't want to cross Trump by voting in favor of a bill blocking his border emergency declaration.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that her chamber would not consider legislation being crafted in the Senate to rein in presidential emergency powers, characterizing it as an attempt to give President Trump "a pass" on violating the Constitution.
By late Tuesday, there were indications that GOP opposition to Trump's emergency along the Mexican border was softening.
As the White House and GOP senators sought a compromise on curbing a president's power to unilaterally declare such emergencies in the future, Pelosi said Wednesday that the House would not take up that legislation if it passed the Senate.
Congress would be highly unlikely to muster the two-thirds majorities needed to eventually override a veto.
So far, four Republican senators have said they'll vote with Democrats to oppose Trump's emergency order. John Cornyn, R-Texas, an adviser to Senate GOP leadership, said of the eleventh-hour White House lobbying effort.
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If passed into law, Lee's bill could impact Trump's national border emergency in the future, since ongoing national emergency declarations must be reaffirmed annually.
Republicans who oppose the national emergency are anxious that future Democratic presidents could usurp the power of Congress to fund the government and use the tactic to pass their own pet programs. "We have a MAJOR NATIONAL EMERGENCY at our Border and the People of our Country know it very well!"
Republicans have also voiced concerns about the precedent that could be set for future Democratic presidents to declare national emergencies on any number of issues.
Trump made his views known in a phone call with Lee, as the conservative senator lunched with fellow Republicans at the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe it.
A Senate vote is expected Thursday on a measure to reject Trump's emergency declaration, which he's using to get access to billions of dollars for building border barriers.
Tillis requested Pence's meeting with senators, and Pence largely was there to listen, an administration official said.
In New York, federal prosecutors are examining the president's role in hush-money payments shortly before the election to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep them quiet about affairs they said they had with Trump. That 30-day approval window would apply after Trump's current border declaration expires in one year, meaning it could remain in place for at least a year without congressional approval.