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GOP Senators “Cannot Dodge” Failure to Protect Home-State Military Installations — “And It May Cost Them”

Vulnerable Republicans “faced bad press in their states” over millions of dollars in cuts to military construction projects, and “the bad news… is that the political situation for them is bound to get tougher”

Senate Republicans have been back in Washington this week but still haven’t done anything to reverse the hundreds of millions of dollars in military construction funding diverted from their home states. GOP senators enabled this raid on their states’ military installations when they voted to uphold President Trump’s sham emergency declaration earlier this year, and now their constituents are paying the price. As Democrats prepare to force a vote to end this reckless cash grab, Republicans who “cannot dodge the issue” are doubling down on their failure of leadership, “siding with the president even though he’s raiding money for military projects in their states.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

POLITICO: Republicans support Trump’s wall even after he grabs military funds from their states

  • Vulnerable Senate Republicans are standing with President Donald Trump and his efforts to build the wall. And it may cost them.
  • Last week, the Trump administration unveiled its plan to divert $3.6 billion in military construction funding to build the president’s border wall, a move which came after Trump declared a national emergency in February to access the funds. Among the states with projects the administration plans to raid are Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Texas and South Carolina — all of which have senators up for re-election in 2020.
  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)… will vote against the resolution of disapproval. Earlier this year, Tillis published an op-ed in the Washington Post saying that he would vote against the emergency declaration but later reversed his stance and voted to back Trump after coming under pressure from within his party.
  • Tillis said when he wrote the op-ed that he “had less concerns with what we were doing here and more concerns with the precedent we would set for future precedents and I still stand by that.”
  • Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) also plans to vote again for the national emergency.
  • Cornyn downplayed concerns about military construction projects in his home state… 
  • “I think from my perspective, at the end of the day we should all be fighting for our states on issues that matter and no matter what the president is doing if it’s going to harm our communities then we should be standing up against it,” [DSCC Chair Sen. Catherine] Cortez Masto said.

HuffPost: Vulnerable Republicans Squeezed By Trump’s Emergency Declaration Once Again

They’re siding with the president even though he’s raiding money for military projects in their states to build his border wall.

  • The bad news for GOP senators in swing states like North Carolina, Arizona and Colorado is that the political situation for them is bound to get tougher.
  • The new vote, which is expected later this month, is unlikely to ultimately change any GOP votes. But it does put vulnerable Republicans, who faced bad press in their states after the Pentagon identified 127 projects that will lose funding, on the spot once more. 
  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who initially opposed Trump’s emergency declaration but reversed himself just hours before the March vote, said he still stands with the president on the matter.
  • Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who is also facing an election next year, told reporters on Tuesday she planned on being “consistent” with her position in March and vote again to uphold Trump’s emergency declaration. The Arizona Republican previously said she had received assurances from the Defense Department that her state would be spared from losing funding ― even though that turned out not to be the case.
  • Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday proposed increasing funding for Trump’s wall by an additional $12 billion, taking as much as $5 billion from domestic programs to do so.
  • “They hate their position. They won’t even privately defend themselves,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

New York Times: Senate Democrats Try to Corner Republicans on Border Emergency

  • Senate Democrats are demanding a fresh vote to terminate President Trump’s national emergency at the southwestern border, moving to force vulnerable Republicans facing re-election next year to choose between siding with the president to fund a border wall or protecting military projects in their home states.
  • Democrats had already been taking aim at top 2020 Republican Senate targets including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Martha McSally of Arizona, over their backing of the border emergency. They got new ammunition last week with the release of a Pentagon list that showed precisely how much money would be stripped from specific projects in their states to pay for the president’s signature campaign promise.
  • Mr. Gardner and Mr. Tillis both came under criticism in their home states for failing to protect military installations, with John Hickenlooper, the former Democratic governor seeking to take on Mr. Gardner in 2020, saying that “we need a senator who’ll stand up for Colorado, not a yes man to Donald Trump.”
  • Mr. Tillis… initially said he would vote against Mr. Trump’s emergency declaration but ultimately changed his mind and supported it
  • Republicans cannot dodge the issue, since the law Mr. Trump invoked to declare the emergency allows a vote to terminate it to occur every six months.
  • “If Democrats can use this vote with independents, I think it could be particularly powerful,” said Nathan Gonzales, a nonpartisan congressional race analyst and editor and publisher of Inside Elections. 

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New Polling, a Primary Threat, and Fired-Up Democrats Spell Trouble for Senator Cornyn

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