The House of Representatives failed to pass a resolution on Tuesday that would override President Trump’s first veto and let stand his declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border.
The House voted 248-181 in favor of overriding the president’s veto and doing away with Trump’s emergency declaration – falling 38 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass through the lower chamber or Congress. The measure passed mainly on party line with only 14Republicans voting in favor of the veto override.
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.
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.