Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says he’s leaning toward voting against the House resolution to block President Trump’s national emergency – but he isn’t exactly happy about the emergency declaration.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Grassley questioned why the president declared a national emergency, when he had access to billions of dollars without doing so.
“Where he is a little bit wrong and brought on a problem that he didn't have to bring on himself is about half of the money of the...$8 billion, he already has authority to transfer. So then why did he go to national emergency for another $4 billion? I don't know why. Maybe just he wants to show the American people he's committed to what he stands for. But he brought on court cases that he wouldn't have to have,” said Grassley.
Grassley said those concerns won’t affect his vote, because the number one responsibility of the federal government is to protect the American people. The senator argued that Trump is trying to protect Americans from criminals coming over the southern border, though he noted “that’s probably a small part of the people” that enter the United States illegally.
Trump declared a national emergency on Feb. 15 to free up funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Grassley told Yahoo Finance he expects the Senate to approve the resolution, but Congress won’t have enough votes to override the president's veto.
The senator says he plans to review the National Emergencies Act, which was passed in 1976, and possibly rewrite the law to curb the “broad authority” given to the president to issue national emergencies.
So far, two Republicans have publicly said they will support the resolution. Four Republicans need to vote yes for it to pass.
Jessica Smith is a reporter for Yahoo Finance based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaASmith8.