Sen. Roger Wicker was one of 12 Republicans to side with Democrats Thursday, passing a resolution against President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to build a border wall.
The vote will likely force Trump’s first veto of his presidency.
Wicker sent out a statement Thursday afternoon, saying he supports a border wall but expressed concerned about the precedent a national emergency would set, not only during the current presidency, but future ones as well.
“I had very cordial conversations with the President yesterday and this morning. I shared with him that I strongly support his plan to build walls on our southern border, but that an emergency declaration was the wrong approach,” the statement read. “The President already has almost $6 billion available that can be used to build border walls. For over 20 years in the House and Senate, I have voted for funds to build more than 600 miles of border structure, and I look forward to working with President Trump on additional border security measures.
“I am concerned about the precedent an emergency declaration sets, which might empower a future liberal President to declare emergencies to enact gun control or to address ‘climate emergencies,’ or even to tear down the wall we are building today.”
“I regret that we were not able to find a solution that would have averted a challenge to the balance of power as defined by the Constitution. The system of checks and balances established by the Founders has preserved our democracy. It is essential that we protect this balance even when it is frustrating or inconvenient.”
Mississippi junior Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a staunch Trump ally whom the president endorsed in her midterm election to the seat last year, voted against the resolution.
Via emailed statement, Hyde-Smith said, in part, “This is a serious issue. The citizens of this country would be better served if Congress worked together to address the humanitarian and border security crisis, rather than using the issue to score political points.”