Lindsey Graham desperately tries to spin the House's overwhelming rebuke of Trump into a win
On Tuesday, the House voted 245 to 182 to pass a resolution of disapproval under the National Emergencies Act, blocking President Donald Trump from declaring an emergency to construct a wall at the southern border.
13 Republicans, including many who support a border wall, joined Democrats to oppose Trump's end-run around Congress. These included both moderate Republicans in swingier, more Trump-hostile districts, like Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and staunch libertarians presumably worried about the long-term precedent it would set, like Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Justin Amash (R-MI).
NEWS: House votes 245-182 to pass a resolution terminating Trump’s emergency declaration to build a wall. Democrat… https://t.co/rLFJmFiVzs— Sahil Kapur (@Sahil Kapur) 1551225460.0
But to hear it from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), this was actually a huge victory for Trump:
Big win for President @realDonaldTrump tonight. Very proud of Republicans in the House for holding the line to ens… https://t.co/Hz2IDvcjLW— Lindsey Graham (@Lindsey Graham) 1551232180.0
It is true that enough Republicans did not defect in the House to prevent Trump from vetoing the resolution if it reaches his desk. But given the GOP spent the first two years of Trump's presidency voting in lockstep, this still represents a noticeable drop-off in support.
And there are signs the same might happen in the Senate, which is required to take up the resolution. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have all said they intend to vote for the Democrats' resolution, and many others have expressed misgivings about Trump's emergency declaration, both because it usurps congressional authority and because it diverts money from military programs.
NBC's Chuck Todd criticized Graham for his pandering:
It’s been quite the transformation to watch Graham become one of the president’s most unapologetic supporters in th… https://t.co/cUXPHCQlA3— Chuck Todd (@Chuck Todd) 1551232429.0
Whatever Graham might say, if Pelosi is able to fracture the GOP caucus and put Trump at odds with members of his own party, it will damage him.