House lawmakers failed Tuesday in their bid to overturn President Trump's first veto, effectively upholding his declaration of a border emergency and leaving him with a free hand to build more of his border wall.
California's attorney general, Xavier Becerra, a vocal critic of the president who is leading the multi-state lawsuit against the emergency declaration, vowed to continue his legal challenge to the administration. Meanwhile, members of both parties denounced Pentagon plans to allocate military funds to pay for a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border.
Trump's position on March 26 was strengthened by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's conclusion, after a 22-month investigation, that the Republican president's campaign team did not collude with Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Katko warned that Trump would set a unsafe precedent by diverting $6.7 billion from the military and other programs to finance the border wall.
Opponents of Trump's emergency warned that besides usurping Congress's role in making spending decisions, he was inviting future Democratic presidents to circumvent politicians by declaring emergencies to finance their own favoured initiatives. This time, 14 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for an override. That included passage by the Republican-led Senate, in which 12 GOP senators - almost 1 of every 4 - joined Democrats in blocking him.
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And that means plenty of mentions from Fox News hosts and guests, "Late Night" host Seth Meyers suggested Thursday. She concluded by: "For the curious, in Latinx culture children take *both* their parents' names".
But the emergency declaration is not exactly settled, as it still faces a host of lawsuits , including one from a coalition of almost two-dozen states led by California.
The president signed that legislation, but immediately announced he would use other money, too: $601 million in a Treasury Department forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion from a Pentagon drug interdiction account and up to $3.6 billion in military construction money.
"This emergency declaration is nothing more than an end run around a majority - a bipartisan majority - of both the House and the Senate in complete disregard of our constitutional system of separation of powers", said Representative Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat. "There is a crisis at the border".
"In cataloging the president's actions, many of which took place in public view", Barr wrote, "the (Mueller) report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent".
The Defense Department has identified $12.8 billion in funds from projects that can be reallocated to the construction of the border barrier.
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. Lawmakers objected that he was abusing presidential powers.