House Vote to Stop Wall Likely to Fail 03/26 06:17
President Donald Trump is nearing a victory over Democrats as the House
tries overriding his first veto , a vote that seems certain to fail and would
let stand his declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is nearing a victory over
Democrats as the House tries overriding his first veto , a vote that seems
certain to fail and would let stand his declaration of a national emergency at
the Mexican border.
Tuesday's vote would keep the border emergency intact, which for now would
let him shift an additional $3.6 billion from military construction projects to
work on a barrier along the southwest boundary. Building the wall was one of
his most oft-repeated campaign promises, though he claimed the money would come
from Mexico, not taxpayers.
Trump's emergency declaration drew unanimous opposition from congressional
Democrats and opposition from some Republicans, especially in the Senate ,
where lawmakers objected that he was abusing presidential powers.
But while Congress approved a resolution voiding Trump's move, the margins
by which the House and Senate passed the measure fell well short of the
two-thirds majorities that will be needed to override the veto. That's expected
to happen again when the House votes Tuesday.
"The president will be fine in the House," said Minority Leader Kevin
McCarthy, R-Calif., in a brief interview. "The veto will not be overridden."
Even with his veto remaining intact, Trump may not be able to spend the
money for barriers quickly because of lawsuits that might take years to resolve.
Tuesday's vote was coming as Trump claimed a different political triumph
after Attorney General William Barr said special counsel Robert Mueller had
ended his two-year investigation without evidence of collusion by Trump's 2016
campaign with the Russian government.
Democrats were hoping to use the border emergency battle in upcoming
campaigns, both to symbolize Trump's harsh immigration stance and claim he was
hurting congressional districts around the country.
The Pentagon sent lawmakers a list last week of hundreds of military
construction projects that might be cut to pay for barrier work. Though the
list was tentative, Democrats were asserting that GOP lawmakers were
endangering local bases to pay for the wall.
Congress, to which the Constitution assigned control over spending, voted
weeks ago to provide less than $1.4 billion for barriers. Opponents warned that
besides usurping Congress' role in making spending decisions, Trump was
inviting future Democratic presidents to circumvent lawmakers by declaring
emergencies to finance their own favored initiatives.
Trump supporters said he was simply acting under a 1976 law that lets
presidents declare national emergencies. Trump's declaration was the 60th
presidential emergency under that statute, but the first aimed at spending that
Congress explicitly denied, according to New York University's Brennan Center
for Justice, which tracks the law.
The House approved the resolution blocking Trump's emergency by 245-182 in
February. On Tuesday, Trump opponents will need to reach 288 votes to prevail.
Just 13 Republicans opposed Trump in February, around 1 in 15. Another 30
would have to defect to override his veto.
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.
Twelve GOP senators, nearly 1 in 4, ended up opposing him.
If the House vote fails, the Senate won't attempt its own override and the
veto will stand.