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House Votes to Block Trump's Border Emergency Declaration



WASHINGTON – The House voted on Tuesday to overtake President Trump's declaration of a national emergency on the Mexican border, with more than a box Republicans joining Democrats to try to block his effort to divert funding to a border wall without congressional approval. 19659002] The resolution of disapproval, which passed 245-182, must now be taken up by the Senate, where three Republicans have already declared their support, only one of the number needed for Congress to ratify a stinging rebuke of Mr. Trump's efforts

It remains highly unlikely that opponents will muster the votes to overturn a veto of the resolution. But passage of a measure to assert congressional constitutional authority over spending is sure to have numerous lawsuits that maintain that Mr. Trump's declaration is an unconstitutional end-run around Congress's lawful power of the purse.

"Is your oath of Donald Trump's or is it the Constitution of the United States?" the floor ahead of the vote. "You cannot let him undermine your constitution." House Republican leaders kept defects low after feverishly working at assorted groups among rank and file members about protecting congressional powers and about the precedent that Mr. Trump could be set for democratic presidents to use national emergencies for their own purposes. Ultimately, 13 Republicans defected from the party line to vote for the one-page resolution. Even Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader and an open supporter of the declaration, declined to offer his opinion on the legal merits.

"We are in the process of weighing that," Mr. McConnell said when asked at a news conference on Tuesday. "I did not reach a total conclusion."

"The president is trying to use whatever tool he thinks he has to address it," he added.

But ahead of the Senate vote, lawmakers have not said what their next steps would be in the resolution to stop the emergency declaration fails.

Three Republican senators – Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – have said that they will support the resolution, and several others have expressed extreme unease. Vice President Mike Pence and a Justice Department lawyer joined Republican senators on Tuesday for a lunch on Capitol Hill to be the president's statutory authority for the declaration

. vote

"Any action by the administration must comply with federal law, such as reviewing and assessing the specific legal authorities and justifications put forth by the administration," said Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. "I am very worried about the slippery slope that could occur." Some Republican lawmakers and aides said they were unconcerned because they were confident that they could prevent the two-thirds majority needed in both chambers to override a presidential veto, possibly the first delivered by Mr. Trump

"There will be near the votes to override a veto," Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Republican whip, said Tuesday morning at a news conference. "Ultimately, we're going to stand with the president in making sure we can secure this border." The resolution of disapproval, under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, serves as the easiest mechanism for Congress to end Mr. Trump's declaration. House Democrats are still weighing the possibility of joining one of the lawsuits that have been filed to challenge the declaration of the decree. loyalty in order to protect Congress's constitutionally granted powers. Ms. Pelosi, in a floor speech on Tuesday, listed at number of instances when House Republicans had objected to President Barack Obama's use of executive power, vowing that "we are not going to give any president, Democratic or Republican, a blank check to shred the Constitution of the United States. ”

Representative Joaquin Castro called the vote on the one-page resolution“ the most important vote, probably in a generation, on the separation of powers. ”

Mr. Castro, Democrat of Texas and the author of the resolution, warned Republicans that the president's declaration went unchallenged, the issue would resurface. "If Congress lets this stand, if the courts let it stand, how am I to tell a future president that gun deaths that number in the tens of thousands every year in this country, or opioid deaths that number in the thousands in this country, are not an emergency? Castro said in a letter interview. “Or climate change is not a national emergency?”

“If this is a short circuit to get other things done,” he added, “then how is a president not expected to use that tool in the future?” [19659002] Overruling concerns from other Republicans, Mr. Trump this month out of use $ 3.6 billion from military construction projects to build his promised wall along the southwestern border.

Lawmakers pressed the Defense Department on Tuesday to release details of the funds that would be reallocated and which military construction projects would impacted

"We fear that reprogramming funding intended for military construction projects and counter-drug activities will come to the expense of troop readiness and departmental efforts to address the military's aging infrastructure," said Representatives John Garamendi, Democrat of California, and Doug Lamborn, Republican of Colorado, both of the House Armed Services Committee.

Members of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to the effect of the declaration on military construction and readiness, and members of the House Judiciary Committee. will have a hearing on Thursday in part to examine Mr. Trump's use of powers under the National Emergencies Act.


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