Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) will be joining Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) to oppose Trump’s emergency measures declaration to fund a wall at the US southern border – a move that has inspired a great deal of anger among his Republican base.
“We tried to cut a deal, the president didn’t appear interested,” Lee said to The Hill on Wednesday.
“I’ll be voting ‘yes,'” Lee said of the resolution spearheaded by Democrats to halt Trump’s emergency measures.
Lee, who claims to be a constitutionalist despite working to codify gay marriage into law, attempted to strike a deal with Trump. Lee felt that Trump should support his “Assuring that Robust, Thorough, and Informed Congressional Leadership is Exercised Over National Emergencies Act” to limit national emergencies declared by the President to 30 days unless Congress approved lengthening them. Lee is concerned with emergency powers being abused in the future.
“If Congress is troubled by recent emergency declarations made pursuant to the National Emergencies Act, they only have themselves to blame,” Lee said in a press release. “If we don’t want our president acting like a king we need to start taking back the legislative powers that allow him to do so.”
Lee felt that his ARTICLE ONE Act was an acceptable compromise, but President Trump disagreed. Despite its 14 Republican co-sponsors, Trump was apparently not willing to support the legislation prompting Lee to pledge his support for the resolution against Trump’s emergency measures. In this highly-polarized political atmosphere, Lee’s posturing against Trump is creating a great deal of backlash.
The comments on Glenn Beck’s Facebook page, usually a friendly area for Never Trump conservatives considering the radio host’s history of bluster against the President, show the level of anger building toward Sen. Lee:
“Who are you to give the president of the united States of America an ultimatum?????” asked commenter Annette Hogan.
“It’s called blackmail and the President was right to refuse,” Ronald K. Smith said, echoing a sentiment widely shared by critics of Lee’s negotiating tactics with the President.
“This is really sad because I used to like Mike Lee. Thought he was one of the good guys, but not anymore,” Karla Beason added.
Lee, who was once a ‘Never Trumper’ in the lead-up to the 2016 Presidential race, joins his colleague Sen. Paul in opposing the President’s emergency measures on constitutional grounds. The men both frequently criticized former President Barack Hussein Obama’s executive orders while he was in office.
“We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing,” Paul said.
While their reasons for opposing emergency measures may be principled, their action is impeding border security measures desperately sought by conservatives.
The optics of opposing emergency measures during an actual emergency, rather than something promulgated by the mainstream media and deep state, are as bad as it gets.
If Lee and Paul aren’t careful, they may not have a post in the Senate to preach constitution fidelity much longer.
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