House fails to override Trump veto of his border emergency

House fails to override Trump veto of his border emergency

House fails to override Trump veto of his border emergency

The House of Representatives voted 248-181 on Tuesday to override Trump's veto of a resolution that would have nullified his national emergency on the U.S. -Mexico border.

During Tuesday's vote, 234 House Democrats, joined by 14 Republicans, voted to override the president's first veto but fell short, shifting Trump's national emergency to face the courts.

But Republicans said Trump had acted legally under a 1976 law known as the National Emergencies Act, under which previous presidents had declared dozens of emergencies.

Lawmakers of both parties said the emergency declaration - which allows Trump to redirect money Congress appropriated for other purposes and use it for border construction instead - represented a dramatic intrusion into Congress' authority over government spending.

Trump ultimately vetoed the measure, the first one he issued during his presidency, rejecting the congressional effort.

Despite his veto remaining intact, Trump may not be able to spend the money for barriers quickly because of lawsuits by Democratic state attorneys general and others that could take years to resolve. "We are establishing the intent of Congress. ..."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday before the vote that he hoped Republicans would pretend Barack Obama was still president, and consider how they'd vote in that context.

The vote came after Sunday's massive win for the president when Attorney General William Barr announced that Mueller hadn't found evidence that the president or his campaign colluded with Russian Federation to interfere with the 2016 election.

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"Whether we can succeed with the number of votes is not the point".

"We have the power of the purse and that prerogative has been invaded by Donald Trump", House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries stated.

With Congressional approval of $1.4 billion allocated for barrier spending earlier this year, the president plans to add almost $4B more from military construction projects to the southern border.

Fourteen Republicans, a mix of conservatives plus moderates from swing districts, joined all voting Democrats in favor of the override.

Mr Trump sought US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) in wall funding this year.

Opponents of Trump's emergency warned that besides usurping Congress' role in making spending decisions, he was inviting future Democratic presidents to circumvent lawmakers by declaring emergencies to finance their own favored initiatives.

On February 12, the House had passed a resolution overturning Mr. Trump's emergency. Democrats - and some Republicans - have raised concerns over that wall funding siphoning away money from military projects in their states. That vote was 245-182, with 13 Republicans joining Democrats in support of termination.

The House seems sure to fall short of the two-thirds margin needed to override vetoes.

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