House unable to override Trump veto on border


Trump's emergency would let him shift an additional $3.6 billion from military construction projects to work on a barrier along the southwest boundary.

The showdown began building a year ago.

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.

For two years, Congress has refused to meet Trump's demands for funding the wall he promised in his 2016 election campaign, although it appropriated some funds for border fencing and other barriers.

Subsequently, the US President issued his first veto rejecting as "dangerous" and "reckless" congressional resolution of his emergency declaration and asserted that Americans would be "put at risk" at the border with Mexico if the measure became a law. Just 14 Republicans joined 234 Democrats in voting to override, one more Republican than had bucked Trump in a previous House vote on the border wall emergency.

Several lawmakers, including GOP ones, had expressed concerns about the emergency declaration eroding the constitutional separation of powers between the President and Congress by attempting to diminish Congress's power over the budget.

While Trump's declaration has now been upheld in Congress, it still faces legal challenges with more than a half-dozen lawsuits countering his move to circumvent Congress to construct the border wall. The vote kills Democrats' legislative effort to rein in Trump's plan to fund a wall on the border with Mexico, and it demonstrates the president's enduring influence over GOP lawmakers.

The Pentagon had announced Monday that it was shifting $1 billion from military construction projects to build part of the wall.

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"The president will be fine in the House", said Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in a brief interview.

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.

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.

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. However, he then declared the emergency, vowing to divert funds from other accounts for the wall. On Tuesday, Trump opponents will need to reach 288 votes to prevail.

The Senate was forced to take up the resolution because of its privileged status, and it passed, 59-41, with 12 Republicans joining Democrats in support. Another 30 would have to defect to override his veto.

Twelve GOP senators, almost 1 in 4, ended up opposing him.

The House seems sure to fall short of the two-thirds margin needed to override vetoes.