The Trump presidency is the real emergency!
The Trump presidency is the real emergency! (Photo: Becker1999, reproduced under a Creative Commons license)

A bipar­ti­san major­i­ty of the Unit­ed House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives has vot­ed to ter­mi­nate the fake nation­al emer­gency declared ear­li­er this month by Don­ald Trump, set­ting up a day of reck­on­ing in the Unit­ed States Sen­ate that will force Repub­li­cans to pub­licly choose between their alle­giance to Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

“Is your oath of office to Don­ald Trump or is your oath of office to the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Unit­ed States?,” Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi asked Repub­li­cans in her floor speech urg­ing approval of House Joint Res­o­lu­tion 46. “You can­not let him under­mine the strength of your pledge to pro­tect and defend the Constitution.”

“We in the People’s House are the keep­ers of this Con­sti­tu­tion,” Pelosi added.

“We in the Con­gress are the keep­ers of this Con­sti­tu­tion. We in the Con­gress, in Arti­cle I, the Con­gress of the Unit­ed States, spelled out very clear­ly in the Con­sti­tu­tion, the pow­ers giv­en to the Leg­isla­tive branch: the pow­ers of the purse, the pow­er to declare war – pow­ers enu­mer­at­ed very care­ful­ly by our Founders.”

In the end, just thir­teen Repub­li­cans crossed over to join two hun­dred and thir­ty-two Democ­rats in vot­ing for the his­toric and vital­ly need­ed res­o­lu­tion. The final vote was two hun­dred and forty-five to one hun­dred and eighty-two.

The roll call from the Pacif­ic North­west was as follows:

Vot­ing Aye [For the Con­sti­tu­tion]: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, Den­ny Heck (WA), Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer,  Kurt Schrad­er (OR); Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers and Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler (WA), Greg Walden (OR)

Vot­ing Nay [For Don­ald Trump]: Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house (WA), Russ Fulcher and Mike Simp­son (ID), Greg Gian­forte (MT), Don Young (AK)

Not Vot­ing: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Pete DeFazio (OR)

Wash­ing­ton State’s con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion was near­ly unan­i­mous in buck­ing Trump thanks to the aye votes of Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers and Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler, which will like­ly come as a sur­prise to many Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate read­ers. Only Dan New­house betrayed his oath of office to side with Trump.

Ore­gon’s con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion was also one vote shy of unan­i­mous­ly rebuk­ing Trump because Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Pete DeFazio missed the vote.

“The vote today to ter­mi­nate Pres­i­dent Trump’s unlaw­ful nation­al emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion sends a clear mes­sage to the Pres­i­dent and this Admin­is­tra­tion that the new House major­i­ty is seri­ous about over­sight and account­abil­i­ty,” said U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Adam Smith, Chair of the House Armed Ser­vices Committe.

“House Democ­rats are not going to stand by while the Pres­i­dent abus­es his pow­er by declar­ing a nation­al emer­gency to build his wall,” Smith added. “This nation­al emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion is built on xeno­pho­bic lies and mis­char­ac­ter­i­za­tions about immi­grants, and it is dan­ger­ous and wrong for the Pres­i­dent to cir­cum­vent Con­gress by steal­ing funds from mil­i­tary readi­ness for his polit­i­cal agenda.”

“I strong­ly sup­port Con­gress­man Castro’s res­o­lu­tion to ter­mi­nate the nation­al emer­gency. We will con­tin­ue to fight this unlaw­ful pow­er grab.”

The Unit­ed States Sen­ate is now required by law to take up the res­o­lu­tion. Three Repub­li­cans have already said they will vote yes (Susan Collins, Thom Tillis, Lisa Murkows­ki), which means the res­o­lu­tion is close to hav­ing the votes that it needs to pass. Collins and Tillis will face the vot­ers in 2020 and are con­sid­ered vulnerable.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

Adjacent posts