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Vulnerable GOP senator ditches Constitution to back Trump

Sen. Thom Tillis was blasted as ‘spineless’ for caving at the last minute to support Trump’s fake ‘national emergency.’

By Dan Desai Martin - March 14, 2019
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Sen. Thom Tillis

On Thursday, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) abandoned his loyalty to the U.S. Constitution — and the principled stand he took just a few weeks ago — to endorse Trump’s shameful executive power grab by voting against a measure to repeal his “national emergency” declaration.

In a Feb. 25 Washington Post op-ed, Tillis stated unequivocally that he could not support Trump’s decision to declare a fake “emergency” in order to fund a wall at the southern border without the approval of Congress.

“As a U.S. senator, I cannot justify providing the executive with more ways to bypass Congress,” Tillis wrote. “It is my responsibility to be a steward of the Article I branch, to preserve the separation of powers and to curb the kind of executive overreach that Congress has allowed to fester for the better part of the past century. I stood by that principle during the Obama administration, and I stand by it now.”

But when it came time to vote, Tillis proved himself a liar. Buckling under pressure from the White House, and likely hoping to keep Trump supporters from voting him out of office in 2020, he caved at the last minute and changed his vote — supporting the action of Trump’s that he had just blasted as “executive overreach.”

Tillis announced his flip-flop in a floor speech moments before the Senate voted to pass a resolution blocking Trump’s fake national emergency.

Trump declared his fake national emergency at the border only after Congress denied him $5.7 billion for a border wall that Trump previously promised Mexico would pay for. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a measure to overturn Trump’s declaration, forcing the Senate to hold a vote on it as well.

Trump has spent the past several weeks encouraging Republican senators to abandon their principles and their oath to the Constitution and show true loyalty to him.

And apparently, it worked with Tillis.

Tillis is facing a tough re-election race in North Carolina next year. Washington Post reporter Robert Costa said that prominent conservatives told him they were planning to mount a primary challenge to Tillis if he stuck to his principles.

Tillis also drew the ire of the Democratic Party in his home state.

“Senator Tillis made a big show about how he’d stand up for North Carolina but caved under pressure,” North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman Robert Howard said in a statement shortly after Tillis’s floor speech.

“Tillis again reminded the entire state who he is: a spineless politician who won’t keep his promises and looks out for himself instead of North Carolina.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 


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