Freaked Out Mitch McConnell Runs For Cover, Wants To Change President’s Emergency Powers
Amid Donald Trump’s declaration of Nationa Emergency as a way to get funding for his border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he is open to changing a president’s national emergency powers as support grows within the GOP caucus for amending the National Emergencies Act.
“We’re looking at some ways to revisit the law. There’s a lot of discomfort with the law. …Was it too broad back in the ’70s when it was passed? So yeah, we’re discussing altering that,” McConnell told reporters during a weekly press conference.
A growing number of Republican senators have expressed interest in amending the National Emergencies Act to make it easier for Congress to terminate a national emergency.
The discussion is focused on future national emergencies but comes days before the Senate will vote on a House-passed resolution of disapproval blocking Trump’s declaration on the border wall.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is expected to introduce legislation that would require Congress to vote to approve continue future emergency declarations after 30 days.
McConnell, asked if he would support Lee’s legislation told reporters that he “may well” back it. GOP Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), another member of GOP leadership, has said he’s cosponsoring Lee’s bill.
Trump’s emergency declaration has sparked an intense, lengthy debate among Republicans about separation of powers. Though Republicans largely support Trump’s desire to build the U.S.-Mexico wall they are worried about the precedent Trump’s actions could set up for a future Democratic president to force through proposals like climate change and gun control.
Senators say they are in talks with the White House about changes to the National Emergencies Act.
The White House did not respond to a Political Dig request for comment.