House fails to override Trump's border wall veto

Mar 29, 2019, 00:20
House fails to override Trump's border wall veto

The U.S. House of Representatives has failed to override President Donald Trump's veto on an earlier House and Senate measure to overturn Mr. Trump's national emergency declaration to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The national emergency declaration, which Trump made last month in a bid to get funding for the construction of a border wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, would allow the president to shift billions of U.S. dollars from military construction projects to fulfilling his signature campaign promise. That executive proclamation paved the way for the administration to spend billions of dollars to construct a barrier along the Southwest border between the US and Mexico after Congress refused to approve the full amount the White House demanded past year.

Trump tweeted after the House vote on Tuesday, saying "BIG WIN today on the boarder".

The construction would represent the first new section of Trump's long-promised border wall, and gives yet another political boost for the president after the special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. "We are establishing the intent of Congress", she said at an event in NY last week during the congressional recess. The 248-181 vote fell far short, as GOP lawmakers brushed aside Democrats' rhetorical challenge and said from where they stood, the border was every bit the crisis Mr. Trump said it was.

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The House vote comes almost a month after the chamber passed a resolution to reverse the president's border declaration in a 245-182 vote, with 13 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure.

House Democrats, meanwhile, were quick to announce they would hold an override vote on March 26.

The House Democrats argued the Republican president had overstepped his authority by going around Congress's refusal to fund a border wall, because the legislature has the power to control spending under the Constitution.

Democratic members expressed their frustration on Tuesday.

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Opponents warned that besides usurping the role of Congress in making spending decisions, Trump was inviting future Democratic presidents to circumvent lawmakers by declaring emergencies to finance their own favored initiatives. One Democrat and two Republicans did not vote. Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro says Trump is guilty of "constitutional vandalism". Because the veto override vote failed in the House, it will not go to the Senate - sparing senators from having to take another vote on an issue that deeply divided Republicans in the chamber. Trump exercised his first presidential veto the following day.

But that list remains speculative, and House Republicans remained rigidly linked to Mr. Trump. Democrats tried to cancel the emergency declaration, but Trump vetoed their vote.

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

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