Democrats fail to overturn Trump's emergency

April FrancisMar 29, 2019

WASHINGTON -The House on Tuesday failed to override President Donald Trump's veto of the Democratic measure to repeal his emergency declaration on the southern border.

At least seven lawsuits have been filed in federal courts challenging the legality of Trump's emergency declaration and his plans to spend funds on the wall that have not been appropriated by Congress for that goal.

Trump plans to use the national emergency as justification to transfer $3.6 billion in military construction funds to projects expanding physical barriers along the southern USA border.

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

Trump declared the national emergency on February 15, after Democrats in Congress blocked his request for $5.7 billion for wall construction. "We are establishing the intent of Congress. ..." Congress voted this year to limit spending on such barriers to less than $1.4 billion, and Democrats called his declaration a gambit for ignoring lawmakers' constitutional control over spending.

And many Republicans had defied their president and the party to vote to pass the Democrat-authored resolution in both chambers, despite the fact that many of them supported the president's wall.

Due to the failure of the override in the House, the Senate will not attempt its own override, therefore, allowing the veto to be lawfully established.

Targeting the Electoral College
In the absence of the Electoral College, the winner's vote share would likely be significantly smaller than is common today. Clinton has repeatedly called for eliminating the system, which would require a constitutional amendment.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the decision to try to overturn Trump's veto had nothing to do with whether Democrats would be successful in their effort.

"The committee does not approve the proposed use of Department of Defense funds to construct additional physical barriers", the Washington Democrat wrote.

Despite his veto remaining intact, Trump may not be able to spend the money for barriers quickly because of lawsuits by Democratic state attorneys general and others that could take years to resolve.

Trump, who was actually present at the Capitol at the time of the vote to attend a lunch with Senate Republicans, declared the emergency in February.

"Even though the two issues clearly aren't related, it increases the president's strength and popularity and puts him in a stronger position", Republican Representative Tom Cole said before the vote. Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro says Trump is guilty of "constitutional vandalism". 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.

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.

The president then declared the emergency, vowing to divert funds from other accounts for the wall. Democrats tried to cancel the emergency declaration, but Trump vetoed their vote. It was a steep hill to climb for opponents of Trump's national emergency as the House would have needed two-thirds of its members to back the veto override.

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