WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democrats are trying to roll back Trump’s declaration of a national emergency in order to obtain billions of dollars from the military to fund construction of the “wall” along the US – Mexico border.
Tuesday’s vote in the Democratic-controlled House comes on legislation to revoke Trump’s executive order from earlier this month and would send it to the Republican-held Senate, where it would take only a handful of GOP defections to pass it.
There is strong possibility for Trump to prevail since he could use his veto to kill the measure if it passes Congress. The White House is seeking to minimize defections amongst GOP allies to avoid embarrassment.
The vote could be challenging for GOP lawmakers who view themselves as conservative guardians of the Constitution and the powers of the federal purse that are reserved for Congress.
On Monday, Democratic leaders said that Trump is trampling on the Constitution by grabbing money that he can’t obtain through normal means. “The beauty of the Constitution, the heart and soul of the Constitution, is the separation of power — co-equal branches of government to be a balance of power,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “The Constitution spells out the responsibilities, giving the Congress of the United States, among other powers, the power of the purse. The president’s power grab usurped that constitutional responsibility and fundamentally violates the balance of power envisioned by our founders.”
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, said GOP defections will be kept below the threshold required to sustain a veto. “If Republicans vote their beliefs, we’ll get a lot. If they vote their party, we won’t get a lot,” said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Trump took to Twitter on Monday to urge Senate Republicans to stick with him.
16 states sued Trump over emergency wall declaration
“I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security. Without strong Borders, we don’t have a Country — and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don’t fall into the Democrats ‘trap’ of Open Borders and Crime!”. Trump wrote. Vice President Pence is expected to discuss the issue with GOP senators during their weekly private lunch.
The issue of Trump’s top campaign promise, a wall along the almost 2000-mile border, has dropped from the original pretense, Mexico was going to pay for the wall, which he so many times claimed it would be the source of funding. That did not happen. Earlier this month Congress approved a $1.4 billion to build 55 miles (89 kilometers) of border barriers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, ending a dispute that had led to a record 35-day partial shutdown of the government. Trump had demanded $5.7 billion to construct more than 200 miles (322 kilometers).
On Monday, national security experts and former GOP lawmakers issued public declarations against Trump’s announcement, saying that the situation along the southern border is not a genuine emergency and that Trump is abusing his powers.
In addition, 28 Republican former House members and senators, many of them from the party’s moderate wing, wrote an open letter declaring their opposition to Trump’s emergency declaration.
Trump’s declaration of a national emergency gives him access to about $3.6 billion in funding for military construction projects to divert to border fencing. Lawmakers in both parties are recoiling at the politically toxic prospect of losing cherished projects at back-home military bases. The Defense Department has not identified which projects may face the ax. Trump´s administration can tap $600 million from a federal asset forfeiture fund first. In addition, it is considering shifting more than $2 billion from Defense Department accounts into a Pentagon counter-drug fund to be tapped for wall construction.
Trump’s edict is being challenged in the federal courts, where a host of Democratic-led states such as California are among those that have sued to overturn the order and it seems, The House may also join in.
The Yucatan Times