This week, Senate Republicans served President Donald Trump the first two resolutions he’s likely to veto — one rescinding his national emergency declaration to build the border wall, (which he vetoed on Friday afternoon), the other on cutting assistance to the Saudis’ war in Yemen.
The breaking of ranks naturally prompted speculation about GOP allegiance to Trump and whether it signals some sort of shift away from him by congressional Republicans.
Bucking the President on his signature issue is certainly a big deal. But a deeper examination of both the numbers and the politics indicates that the GOP remains firmly in Trump’s grip. If anything, given the constitutional rhetoric of elected Republicans, the President might have had a true revolt on his hands. Instead, he was given an effective slap on the wrist by a small fraction of Republican lawmakers.
Of the 250 Republicans in Congress (197 in the House, 53 in the Senate) only 10% broke ranks with the President on the national emergency resolution. After 13 Republicans in the House joined Democrats to pass the resolution last month, a dozen Republican senators ended up breaking ranks this week to send it to the President’s desk.