House Democrats Fall Short of Overturning Trump’s Veto

The US House of Representatives will vote Tuesday to try and override President Donald Trump's veto of a resolution passed earlier by congress overturning his declaration of emergency to fund his promised wall along the border with Mexico.

A veto override requires two-thirds support, and the House vote fell short, 248-181.

Mr. Trump was flexing powers under the 1976 National Emergencies Act, which gives a president the ability to order immediate military construction in event of a crisis. That allowed him to bypass Congress and secure funds to build the wall.

On March 14, the Republican-controlled Senate voted to disapprove the emergency declaration by 59 votes to 41, in what was a sharp rebuke to Trump.

An effort by House Democrats to override President Donald Trump's first veto has failed. "We are establishing the intent of Congress", she said at an event in NY last week during the congressional recess.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks to the press at Port of Entry #2 after touring the Texas-Mexico border, February 22, 2019. Many cited the separation of powers enumerated in the U.S. Constitution; others raised concerns about the precedent set by Trump.

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. That included passage by the Republican-led Senate, in which 12 GOP senators - almost 1 of every 4 - joined Democrats in blocking him.

The president in February declared a national emergency for the country's southern border, a move that allowed him to secure a total of $8 billion in funds to build additional barriers between the USA and Mexico.

"President Trump can't take taxpayer dollars to build his wall without Congress's permission", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former congressman who has filed a lawsuit to block Trump's declaration, said following the vote. But Democratic Representative Adam Smith, the Armed Services Committee's chairman, said Tuesday the panel did not approve the proposed use of Pentagon funds.

This year, Trump sought $5.7 billion in wall funding.

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.

On February 12, the House had passed a resolution overturning Mr. Trump's emergency. Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday. Thirteen Republicans voted for the resolution in the first place.

But the House faced a high hurdle, needing a two-thirds majority - rather than a simple majority - to override the veto.

  • Jon Douglas