Paul is the fourth GOP senator so to defect from the president's declaration.
McConnell didn't comment Monday on Paul's position on the declaration.
Democrats argue there is no border emergency and that Trump is overreaching. "If we take away those checks and balances, it's a unsafe thing", Paul added, according to the Bowling Green (Ky.) Daily News. The declaration is also being challenged in the courts. That means more than 53 Republicans in the House would need to join the Democrats to reach 288 votes.
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McConnell, who fell in line behind Trump despite his own misgivings about the declaration, said Trump will veto the resolution and that it's likely to be sustained in Congress. McConnell's remarks in his home state came after fellow Kentucky Sen. Republican Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski of (R-Alaska) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) have already said they would vote to block Trump's declaration.
Under the declaration, Trump would divert $3.6bn from military construction to erect more border barriers, having been denied his requested funding by Congress, after a 35-day government shutdown over the issue. With a number of other senators on the fence, it seems likely the final tally will be higher than the 51 votes necessary for passage.
Tillis, in an op-ed for the Washington Post last week, echoed Paul's criticism of the order: "As a USA senator, I can not justify providing the executive with more ways to bypass Congress". "We were right then", Paul wrote.
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But that calculation matters far less to those GOP senators who have branded themselves conservative renegades, those ostensible foes of the GOP establishment who have track records of disregarding McConnell's dictate at times when, in their judgment, he has put calculated political ends ahead of constitutional principles.
McConnell said earlier he will not handicap the resolution when it comes to his side. "Therefore, President Trump's emergency order is clearly in opposition to the will of Congress", said Paul.
"We have too many smart people that want border security, so I can't imagine it can survive a veto", the President told reporters in the Oval Office. "I think the president can spend what he would like to spend, we can get to the $5.7 billion, without having to invoke the emergency process".
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That money would be tapped after the administration exhausts funding from other sources, including $1.375 billion provided by Congress; $2.5 billion from a Pentagon counter-drug account that the administration can access without an emergency declaration; and $601 million from a forfeiture fund in the Treasury Department.