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Senate to vote on resolution to reverse Trump's emergency declaration Thursday

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By Rebecca Shabad  with NBC News Politics
Image: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks at a press conference
McConnell also confirmed Tuesday that Senate Republicans are exploring ways to reform the National Emergencies Act.   -   Copyright  Win McNamee Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Thursday on a resolution that would reverse President Donald Trump's emergency declaration on border security, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday.

"It is no secret that the use of the national emergency law has generated a good deal of'll all come to a head on Thursday when the clock runs [out] and the vote will occur on Thursday," McConnell said at a press conference following a closed-door lunch with the Senate GOP Conference.

As of last week, it appeared that the House-passed resolution would also be approved by the GOP-controlled Senate because enough Republicans had signaled that they would join Democrats to vote in favor of the measure.

Trump is then expected to veto the resolution, which is not expected to receive enough support in Congress to overturn that veto.

McConnell also confirmed Tuesday that Senate Republicans are exploring ways to reform the National Emergencies Act.

"We're looking at some ways to revisit the law. There's a lot of discomfort with the law — not that the president doesn't have the authority to do what he is doing," he said. "I think most of my members believe this is not a constitutional issue in that sense, but rather — is this grant of authority to any president, not just this one, any president — was it too broad back in the 70s when it was passed?"

McConnell added that while they're discussing altering the law, any changes would apply to future questions, and not to the current situation.

Trump is expected to visit Capitol Hill Thursday to attend the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon.

As of last week, at least four Senate Republicans were expected to vote to support the resolution, including Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine. McConnell conceded that the measure would pass in the upper chamber.

The House passed the resolution late last month in a 245-182 vote, with 13 Republicans voting in favor and as a result of the National Emergencies Act. The Senate was required by law to take it up within 18 days of that vote.

Earlier this month, McConnell wouldn't definitively say whether he thought the president's decision was legal.

"Well, we're in the process of weighing that," McConnell said then when asked if he thought the declaration was legal. "The lawyer was there to make his argument, there were some counter arguments. I haven't reached a total conclusion about [it].... but we had some real serious lawyers in there discussing that very issue."