WASHINGTON (Brian Murphy/McClatchy) - North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis voted Thursday to support President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, a change from his previous position.
Tillis announced his change on the Senate floor, just moments before he voted against a disapproval resolution.
Trump declared a national emergency after failing to get the money he wanted for a border wall from Congress.
Tillis had laid out his objections to the national emergency declaration in an op-ed in The Washington Post. But Tillis, a Republican who is facing re-election in 2020, has been facing public pressure from Trump and local Republicans, who have indicated they’d be open to a primary challenger.
He said that while he still had concerns about the president’s approach to invoking a national emergency, he would not support a disapproval resolution after conversations with the administration and assurances from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that the Senate might at a later date revisit the process by which presidents can invoke national emergencies.
“I come to the floor to say I do not intend to vote for the resolution of disapproval. And here’s why. A lot has changed over the last three weeks,” Tillis said. “A discussion with the vice president, a number of senior administration officials, a lot of collaboration with my colleague from Utah (Sen. Mike Lee) that’s a serious discussion about changing the National Emergencies Act in a way that will have Congress speak on emergency actions in the future.”
“As late as today the president makes a statement that he’s willing to work with us,” Tillis added.