U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt, of Missouri, and Jerry Moran, of Kansas, joined 10 other Republican senators Thursday in rejecting President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexican border, setting up a veto fight and dealing Trump a rebuke. The Senate voted 59-41 to cancel Trump's February proclamation of a border emergency, which he invoked to spend $3.6 billion more for border barriers than Congress had approved.
Republicans control the Senate 53-47. Democrats solidly opposed Trump's declaration.
Here are statements from five area U.S. senators on their votes:
• U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.:
Blunt said he has encouraged Trump to use other presidential authorities than an emergency declaration to build a border wall.
"(A court case) could take months and result in future presidents having emergency authority to use in other ways," Blunt said. "Democrats have already made clear that they believe they could use this same authority to impose policies like gun control or the Green New Deal. Those decisions should not be made without congressional action."
• U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.:
Moran, in a handwritten note posted to Twitter before the vote, said he could not support expanding presidential powers beyond a constitutional limit.
"Allowing the use of such power establishes a precedent for future presidents to further act against laws and appropriations approved by Congress," Moran wrote. "I aggressively opposed the overreach of past presidents and believe that I cannot pick and choose to now look the other way."
• U.S. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.:
"We must have comprehensive immigration reform, which starts with a secure border," Roberts said. "We also need further resources at the southern border to deal with the humanitarian crisis hurting the thousands of migrants who attempt to enter our country."
• U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.:
In a video posted on Twitter last week, Hawley said he supports Trump.
"I think he has the authority to do it," Hawley said. "I think unquestionably there is a crisis at the border."
• U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.:
“I’ve made six trips to the border in the last five years. Each time, I’ve seen firsthand how the humanitarian crisis has gotten worse. The facts back this up, too. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have testified before Congress repeatedly, outlining the dire situation and the need to secure our border from drugs, human trafficking and crime.
“Yet, Democrats still refuse to take the situation seriously. Presidents have the authority to declare an emergency in times of crisis; the President is well within his rights to address the ongoing emergency situation we face."
No statement was available from U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.