"A recipe for a disaster"? Trump's border emergency is driving the GOP into a risky fight by 2020.



President Trump's decision to unilaterally attempt to build his promised wall on the Mexican border plunges his party into a tragedy and malaise – a move that could help him in his re-election effort in 2020 even at the expense of other Republicans, said many GOP officials Friday.

Trump's attempt to bypass the Congress places GOP lawmakers – including many vulnerable senators – in reelection at the next round – in the position of having to choose between the leader of their party and their opposition to the executive's deception.

Many lawmakers are concerned that if they subscribe to Trump's emergency declaration, they will clamor for a White House coup that would undermine Congress's constitutional spending power. But if they oppose it, they risk drawing the wrath of Trump's political base – and perhaps a major challenge.

It is also unclear whether even the most outspoken critics of Trump's GOP movement will actually vote to disapprove of its declaration of urgency, and few people were willing to solve the problem on Friday. According to a White House official, government aides have asked lawmakers to keep their powder dry for now, instead of saying how they would have voted publicly.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) – who has spent weeks warning of a national emergency only to declare support for the movement this week – released Friday a no-commitment statement accusing Democrats cross-border stalemate without giving his opinion on Trump's official statement. .

Above all, there is the possibility of an epic constitutional stalemate between the White House and Congress that could seriously harm Republicans.

"It's a recipe for disaster for McConnell and his flock of Republicans in the Senate in 2020," said Dan Eberhart, oil industry executive and GOP donor, who described the situation as "a state of affairs." without victory ". "Choose Trump and the statement of urgency and offend the moderates, or upset Trump and risk being overthrown in a major challenge powered by Trump.

The quarrel between the parties will end in a few weeks as Democrats in the House prepare to adopt a resolution disapproving Trump's declaration of urgency. According to the rules of Congress, this resolution would be automatically submitted to the Senate in a few days, forcing the Republicans to take a stand.

This could be a problem for Senators such as Thom Tillis (North Carolina), John Cornyn (Texas), Martha McSally (Arizona) and Tom Cotton (Arkansas), all Republicans to re-election next year. Cornyn and McSally are from border states, where their own constituents could see the Trump administration attempting to seize property under eminent domain laws to build a border wall. Tillis represents a rotating state in which he needs both independents and Trump loyalists to be re-elected.

Even Cotton, a long-time Pentagon champion from a deep-seated state, will have to balance his support for the president and the South barrier with his desire to keep the military budget intact. The military hawks had begged the administration to spare the necessary building funds to support the troops in any attempt to finance a wall project. Trump ignored them, irritating some of Capitol Hill's most virulent advocates of defense spending.

"The dollars that belong to the Department of Defense are already a national emergency," said Rep. Michael R. Turner, a Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee, originally from an Ohio district. "To attack our national security, the Ministry of Defense money and its cannibalization will hurt our army."

Realizing that they must defeat the GOP's skeptics, the White House is stepping up its lobbying activities on Capitol Hill. Administration officials began contacting GOP lawmakers and posting discussion points that support Trump's plan. The Office of Management and Budget has organized a call to inform Republican staff members of the funding part of the plan on Friday morning, said a manager.

Administration officials also encouraged Trump Hill's vocal allies, such as House Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), to switch to television to sell the plan to voters. Friday morning, Mercedes Schlapp, Director of Strategic Communications at the White House, and Russ Vought, Deputy Director of the OMB, promised that Mr. Trump would "oppose an absolute veto" to any resolution of disapproval, while anticipating that it would "shock" people to see how quickly the administration will build a wall.

Trump campaigners say the emergency declaration will strengthen the president's re-election efforts. Campaign chairman Brad Parscale presented the president with internal poll numbers meant to show that the wall is more popular than public polls show.

"It was a winning number in 2016, and it will be one of the biggest problems in 2020," said Raj Shah, a former White House spokesman who advises the campaign, adding, "This will be: Finish the wall, elect me, otherwise we will not have a southern border wall. "Wall, border security and immigration – when he talks about it and the subject of the conversation moves to that, it's a good contrast for us. "

Many Senate Republicans and moderate House GOP legislators, however, do not agree privately. At a private meeting in late January, McConnell told Trump that Congress could pass a resolution disapproving of an emergency statement, people said of their conversation.

Josh Holmes, McConnell's close confidant and former chief of staff, downplayed the political consequences of the emergency declaration.

"I think the battle lines are pretty well established and well drawn," said Holmes. "The political implications of this are entirely partisan and quite predictable."

But many other GOP politicians disagree and the legislators of the districts and oscillating states know that they have a difficult decision to make.

"This vote is incredibly difficult," said Rob Collins, former executive director of the National Committee of Republican Senators, who said that a positive outcome is still possible for Republicans. "I would be extremely nervous if I were them, to make sure everything went smoothly."

In fact, some House Republicans believe that Trump's obsession with the border costs the party more seats in the House than it would otherwise have lost in the 2018 mid-term elections. Poll, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan urged Mr. Trump to talk more about the economy and less about immigration.

Ryan was angry after Trump said he wanted to end his citizenship and told him it was hurting vulnerable Republicans in the suburbs, the heart of the majority of the GOP. Trump told Ryan that it was immigration that brought people to the polls – and that he intended to keep talking about it.

Republicans in the House have suffered more than 30 victims, giving up the lower house to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

In the Senate, Republicans will defend 22 seats in the Senate, while Democrats will only defend 12. The solution to protect the majority of the Senate's 53 Senators in the Senate is through potentially competitive states such as Colorado, the United States. Arizona, Iowa and Maine.

Some of these vulnerable GOP members in 2020, including Tillis and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, immediately declared their opposition to Trump 's emergency declaration.

"Although I am in agreement with the purpose of President Trump's policy, I do not believe in the principles of the situation, and it is clear that our country may sink into the abyss of a Rabbit that can collapse when a Democratic president wants the government to intrude more into our economy and our lives, "Tillis said in a statement.

"I think it's a mistake on the part of the president," Collins said. "I do not think the national emergency law is considering a president to reallocate billions of dollars outside the normal process of credits."

But others, facing electoral challenges in 2020, have become dumb, a telling sign that Republicans know that attacking Trump is risky. Cornyn, an ally of McConnell who is one of two Republican senators threatened with re-election in a neighboring state of Mexico, was one of the most vocal opponents of a national emergency. On Friday, Cornyn spokesman Drew Brandewie said the senator wanted to review Trump's order before deciding on his position.

Several other Republicans cycling in 2020 refused to say what they thought of the proposal. The offices of Cotton and Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.) Did not intervene or say that their boss was still reviewing the details. McSally's office has not sent back a request for comment, although Democratic challenger Mark Kelly has already described Trump's move as a "political maneuver".

In the House, Trump's decision also divided the party. While the Conservatives supported the plan, some moderate Republicans expressed dismay.

Representative Tom Reed, a New York ally of Trump who rarely criticized the president, rejected Trump's decision, saying "Congress is delegated this authority and we need to recover that authority so that it becomes a reality." equal branch of government ". Reed, whose district chose Trump about 15 points in 2016, said he had no intention of joining the Democrats' efforts to repudiate the president.

"This resolution will be dictated by politics," he said.


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