U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine joined a second effort on Wednesday to end a national emergency declaration from President Donald Trump leading his administration to reappropriate billions in military funding for his effort to build a wall at the southern border.
Collins, a Republican, joined a similar effort earlier this year to end the declaration that easily passed the Senate and the House of Representatives, but drew the first veto of the Republican president’s tenure. Congress is allowed to vote every six months to terminate declarations.
Trump’s declaration in mid-February said his administration would divert $8 billion in funding for the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Since then, the Trump administration has announced plans to use $3.6 billion in funding dedicated to military construction projects.
It’s unclear if new effort to block the resolution, led by Collins and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, and Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, will fare better than the last one. Collins said in a statement it isn’t a question of “whether to support or oppose the wall” or Trump.
“I strongly support protecting the institutional prerogatives of the Senate, and the system of checks and balances that is central to the structure of our government,” she said.
No Maine installations have been affected by Trump’s declaration. Collins, who is up for re-election in 2020 in a nationally targeted race, issued a news release last week saying construction projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard near the New Hampshire border in Kittery would not be delayed.
Collins and other opponents of the resolution have said it violates the constitutional separation of powers provision, though U.S. Department of Defense spokesman Charlie Summers, a former Maine secretary of state, told Talk Media News this week that the administration is “following the letter of the law to ensure the president’s directive is carried out.”
This story appears through a media sharing agreement with Bangor Daily News.