U.S. House fails to override Trump veto in border wall dispute

U.S. House fails to override Trump veto in border wall dispute

The 248-181 vote was well below the two-thirds of support needed to overturn Trump's first veto of his presidency.

But their veto override attempt seems certain to fall short of the two-thirds majority they will need to succeed later Tuesday.

Just 14 Republicans joined 234 Democrats in voting to override the veto, one more Republican than had bucked Mr Trump in a previous House vote on the border wall emergency.

On February 15, Trump had declared a national emergency to bypass the Congress and fulfill his long-pending demand of building the wall.

It was expected that Mr. Trump would veto a House and Senate measure, passed in February and March, respectively, overturning his emergency. The GOP-controlled Senate would also be unlikely to reach that threshold, with Republican leaders there showing no inclination to bring it up for a vote in any case.

Democrats cast the vote as a test of patriotism, saying Congress needed to stand up to a tyrannical president overstepping his emergency powers. A coalition of 16 states, led by California, sued the Trump administration last month in an effort to block the declaration.

"We strongly object to both the substance of the funding transfer, and to the Department implementing the transfer without seeking the approval of the congressional defense committees and in violation of provisions in the defense appropriation itself", the senators, including Tammy Baldwin, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Durbin wrote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moved forward with the vote Tuesday, despite rumors it was likely to fail.

Republican Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri says there is a border crisis and says Trump acted "well within his legal authority". "He added that, "As president, the protection of the nation is my highest duty", and reiterated that there is "definitely a national emergency" at the border".

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. "We will continue to review all options to protect our Constitution and our Democracy from the President's assault", they said. His plan is to shift an additional $3.6 billion from military construction projects to work on border barriers.

That ended when Mr Trump agreed to US$1.37 billion for border barriers, far less than he wanted. But Democratic Representative Adam Smith, the Armed Services Committee's chairman, said Tuesday the panel did not approve the proposed use of Pentagon funds.

Mr Trump sought US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) in wall funding this year.

Congress has approved less than $1.4 billion. However, he then declared the emergency, vowing to divert funds from other accounts for the wall. Another 30 would have to defect to override his veto. Thirteen Republicans voted for the resolution in the first place. Republicans were hoping to avoid a confrontation with him for fear of alienating pro-Trump voters.

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