US House fails to override Trump's border wall emergency veto

27 March, 2019, 05:22 | Author: Sue Riley
  • US Senate Republican wants a special counsel to investigate Trump probe

The vote kills Democrats' legislative effort to rein in Trump's plan to fund a wall on the border with Mexico, and it demonstrates the president's enduring influence over GOP lawmakers. This time, 14 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for an override.

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 favoured initiatives.

But the emergency declaration is not exactly settled, as it still faces a host of lawsuits , including one from a coalition of almost two-dozen states led by California.

Democrats have been demanding the release of the special counsel's full report, as well as the evidence behind it.

In a symbolic move by Democrats, presiding over the debate and vote was freshman Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, representing a district surrounding El Paso along the Mexican border.

"I would like to hear what the intel people say", Graham told The Post Tuesday when asked if he thought the president should go ahead and declassify the documents now that special counsel Robert Mueller has completed his investigation.

In a rare rebuke of Trump from Congress, both the House and Senate passed a resolution last month to block the president from declaring the emergency and bypassing Congress to secure billions for his border wall.

Trump declared the national emergency on February 15 in an attempt to bypass Congress and move taxpayer funds for the wall away from other uses already approved by the legislature.

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But Republicans insisted Trump had acted legally under a 1976 law known as the National Emergencies Act, under which previous presidents had declared dozens of emergencies. "The president is using the authority Congress has given him", said Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.). Mueller's investigation also exonerated the president from claims that he had colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

"In six months, the Congress will have another opportunity to put a stop to this President's wrongdoing", Pelosi and Castro wrote in a statement.

Indeed, earlier Tuesday, the House Armed Services Committee sought to deny the Pentagon the authority to reprogramme funds for the wall, an action that could potentially set up another courtroom battle.

Trump has been racking up political victories this week and with the House's failure to override his veto, has snagged yet another win. Roy Blunt, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

For two years, Congress has refused to meet Trump's demands for funding the wall he promised in his 2016 election campaign, although it appropriated some funds for border fencing and other barriers.

U.S. Attorney General nominee William Barr testifies at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee January 15, 2019 in Washington, DC.

In a January televised address, Trump laid down a proposal for a border security compromise that would provide temporary protection from deportation to some 700,000 illegal immigrants in exchange for border wall funding. When Congress refused, the standoff triggered a month-long partial government shutdown. "Today's vote simply reaffirms Congressional Democrats are the party of Open Borders, Drugs and Crime!"

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