US Senate overturns Trump’s border emergency declaration, setting up veto
The United States Senate voted on Thursday (local time) to overturn President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southwestern border.
Twelve Republican Senators joined the Democrats and independents in voting down the measure 59–41, arguing that the President had exceeded his authority by trying to build a wall on the border with Mexico without congressional approval.
“Never before has a President asked for funding, Congress has not provided it, and the President then has used the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to spend the money anyway,” said Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.
“Our nation’s founders gave to Congress the power to approve all spending so that the President would not have too much power. This check on the executive is a crucial source of our freedom.”
The measure was previously voted down by the House of Representatives, and will now go before the President, who has promised to veto Congress’ decision.
This marks the first time in Mr Trump’s presidency that he is in a position to veto a decision of Congress.
The margin of 59–41 is just under the two-thirds majority required to override a veto.
However, the vote against the President is an indication that Mr Trump is losing the support of the Republican-controlled Senate, which has historically backed Republican presidents.
Despite efforts to frame the vote in terms of border security and crime reduction, the President was unable to sway the handful of Republican Senators concerned about the legal and constitutional implications of allowing the President to redirect $3.6 billion from military construction projects.
“I believe the use of emergency powers in this circumstance violates the Constitution,” said Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas in a handwritten statement.
“This continues our country down the path of all powerful executive — something those who wrote the Constitution were fearful of.”
The President took to Twitter following the vote to reiterate his intention to veto the decision, “which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country.”
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