Trump's border emergency survives as veto override falls short

29 March, 2019, 00:14 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • House Democrats Fail to Stop Trump's Veto of Border Wall Resolution

A vote in the Democratic-controlled House of Congress Tuesday failed to muster the two-thirds majority needed to override President Donald Trump's first veto.

The House voted 248-181 in favor of the override but fell short of the two-thirds majority it needed.

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.

On February 15, Trump had declared a national emergency to bypass the Congress and fulfill his long-pending demand of building the wall. U.S. President Trump's Mexican border policy has raised worldwide controversy in recent days as Republicans attempt to pass an immigration reform bill.

The failure of the House to overturn Trump's veto comes a day after the Pentagon notified the US Congress that it authorised the transfer of United States dollars 1 billion for building a barricade along the US-Mexico border. Notably, several Republicans backed the veto issued by Trump. A coalition of 16 states sued in federal court in February to stop Trump's border wall emergency; another four states joined the lawsuit this month.


Tuesday's vote bolsters Trump's drive to build a wall along the boundary with Mexico, a hallmark of his 2016 presidential campaign and a priority of his presidency.

However, Republican supporters of the president said the vote should serve as a signal for lawmakers to move on from the emergency debate. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, called Trump's action "constitutional vandalism" because Congress has the power to control spending.

In a letter to Shanahan a group of Democratic senators who sit on subcommittees on defense and military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies accused the Department of Homeland Security of allowing "political interference and pet projects to come ahead of many near-term, critical readiness issues facing our military". That executive proclamation paved the way for the administration to spend billions of dollars to construct a barrier along the Southwest border between the USA and Mexico after Congress refused to approve the full amount the White House demanded a year ago. But Democratic Representative Adam Smith, the Armed Services Committee's chairman, said Tuesday the panel did not approve the proposed use of Pentagon funds.

Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border earlier this year to get funding for a border wall after Congress declined to provide the funding he wanted. The Senate followed suit two weeks ago, with 12 Republicans voting with Democrats to end the emergency.

This month, the GOP-led Senate rebuked Trump with a 59-41 vote blocking his declaration after the failure of a Republican effort to reach a compromise with the White House. Republicans were hoping to avoid a confrontation with him for fear of alienating pro-Trump voters.

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