Today on the Hill: House Prepares to Rebuke Trump National Emergency

February 26, 2019

House lawmakers are preparing their first move in a series of legislative and legal maneuvers to prevent President Trump from circumventing Congress to fund a border wall. Lawmakers will vote on a resolution of disapproval (H.J.Res 46) that would reject the President’s national emergency declaration on the southern border. While reports suggest that the House GOP is expected to largely vote against the Democratic resolution, schisms among Senate Republicans are starting to emerge as Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Thom Tillis have indicated they will join Democrats in voting to reject the national emergency declaration.

Additionally, the House will take up a bipartisan federal lands package championed by conservation advocacy groups under suspension of the rules today. The Natural Resources Management Act (S.47) would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) — a program that uses federal oil and gas royalties from offshore drilling to fund acquisitions and easements of land and water — and also includes a host of provisions that would increase recreational access to federal lands and add to national parks and other land holdings. The bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate (92-8) earlier this month and is expected to easily pass the lower chamber.

In the upper chamber, Senators will resume consideration of the nomination of Eric D. Miller to be a Judge for the Ninth Circuit after the Senate failed to invoke cloture and end debate on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311). The bill — which would prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion — may be brought up again in the near future after three GOP Senators missed yesterday’s vote.