Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects his chamber will have the votes to pass a resolution blocking President Trump's national emergency declaration but an effort to override a presidential veto will fail in the House.
"I can't vote to give extra-Constitutional powers to the president", Paul told Republican supporters and lawmakers at a dinner at Western Kentucky University on Saturday, The Bowling Green Daily News reports. "If we take away those checks and balances, it's a risky thing", Paul suggested, according to the paper.
Paul joins fellow Republican Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in opposing Trump's declaration - a reflection of some resistance within the Republican Party to what some lawmakers see as executive overreach and a challenge of the constitutional separation of powers.
US President Donald Trump has informed Congress that he will extend the 2014 national emergency over Ukraine and sanctions against Russian Federation, even as lawmakers look set to oppose his emergency declaration to protect the US border. The emergency declaration seeks to redirect about $3.6 billion in defense funding already appropriated by Congress to the border wall project.
Why does Paul oppose Trump's declaration?
Paul said he thinks Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will vote against Trump. With a number of other senators on the fence, it seems likely the final tally will be higher than the 51 votes necessary for passage.
The Republican senator said he believed "the president's own picks", Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, "may rebuke" the president on his decision to use emergency powers to obtain funding for his long-promised border wall between the USA and Mexico.
The measure needs a simple majority to be adopted and sent to Trump's desk, but is also unlikely to attract support from a veto-proof majority in Senate.
"I support what the president wants to do on border security, but not the way he has been advised to do it", Alexander said in a statement last week. "And the president doesn't get to decide that he can override Congress simply because Congress doesn't do what he wants". "Today, I think he's wrong, not on policy, but in seeking to expand the powers of the presidency beyond their constitutional limits", Paul wrote. Rand Paul, also from Kentucky, would vote with Democrats and a handful of Republicans. In addition to the money appropriated last month by Congress, the president can draw on another $2.5 billion from a Pentagon account designated for drug interdiction.