The Trump administration is lobbying Republican senators—or, depending how you look at it, begging them—to vote against the resolution opposing his national emergency declaration. Despite that, the resolution is expected to pass the Senate, with the big question being just how many Republicans will vote yes.
Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and the White House deputy director of government communications have all been dispatched to try to lock down Republican senators. Nielsen “stressed that the emergency declaration was necessary and while the administration expected legal challenges, that was still not a reason to abandon the declaration,” the Washington Post reports.
Four Republicans have said they would vote yes, which means the resolution against Trump’s national emergency would succeed. It might not stop there. Some Republicans suggest there could be as many as 15 Republican votes against the emergency declaration, with senators—particularly those facing tough re-elections in 2020—gaining courage now that their votes won’t be decisive. Let’s not count on a full 15 Republican senators defying Trump on his top priority, no matter how much posturing goes on ahead of the vote, but it’s still looking set to be one of Trump’s biggest political setbacks since … well, since he caved on a government shutdown. But having his two biggest political setbacks come in the space of months might just be a good sign.