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Pelosi: House won't take up bill to overhaul national emergencies

Pelosi: House won’t take up bill to overhaul national emergencies

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the House would not take up proposed Senate legislation to rein in national emergency powers, a bill put forward as part of an effort to give Republicans cover to side with President Trump on the border wall.

GOP senators are in talks with the White House about changing the National Emergencies Act, the 1976 law that Trump invoked to declare his national emergency to direct extra funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. That would give Senate Republicans uncomfortable with the national emergency room to avoid defying Trump.

Pelosi sought to make clear that wouldn’t fly with House Democrats, issuing her statement on the eve of the expected Senate vote on a resolution disapproving of Trump’s emergency declaration. The House passed that resolution late last month.

“Republican Senators are proposing new legislation to allow the President to violate the Constitution just this once in order to give themselves cover,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass.”

Four GOP senators have indicated they will vote with all 47 Democrats for a House-passed resolution of disapproval blocking Trump’s emergency declaration: Sens. Thom Tillis (N.C.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

Vice President Pence discussed a potential offer with GOP senators on Tuesday of Trump signing legislation to curb his national emergency powers if senators defeat the resolution of disapproval to spare him the first veto of his presidency. But so far Trump has made no such pledges.

It’s also unclear when such legislation could reach the Senate floor, given that the chamber is scheduled to be on recess next week.