The U.S. House of Representatives has failed to override President Donald Trump’s veto on an earlier House and Senate measure to overturn Mr. Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Tuesday’s House vote, 248-181 in favour of overriding Mr. Trump’s veto, failed to meet the two-third majority mark despite 14 Republicans crossing the aisle and voting with Democrats against the veto.
It was expected that Mr. Trump would veto a House and Senate measure, passed in February and March, respectively, overturning his emergency. However, Tuesday’s vote does not come as a surprise, as the prospects of a presidential veto being overridden were always bleak, requiring a two-third majority in both the House and the Senate.
On February 12, the House had passed a resolution overturning Mr. Trump’s emergency. The Senate followed suit two weeks ago, with 12 Republicans voting with Democrats to end the emergency. Mr. Trump vetoed the measure.
Lawmakers had disagreed with Mr. Trump on the existence of a crisis at the southwestern border of the U.S., and there was concern that the President’s emergency declaration would enable a diversion of military construction and other funds away from areas where they were needed towards funding more wall.
Several lawmakers, including GOP ones, had expressed concerns about the emergency declaration eroding the constitutional separation of powers between the President and Congress by attempting to diminish Congress’s power over the budget.
“The President’s lawless emergency declaration clearly violates Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, and Congress will work through the appropriations and defence authorisation processes to terminate this dangerous action and restore our constitutional system of balance of powers,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and author of the resolution, Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro, said via a joint statement.
Democrats have suggested that the measure could be reintroduced in six months — an idea that was echoed in Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Castro’s comments.
“In six months, Congress will have another opportunity to put a stop to this President’s wrongdoing. We will continue to review all options to protect our Constitution and our Democracy from the President’s assault,” they said. At present, the emergency is also being challenged in the courts.
“Thank you to the House Republicans for sticking together and the BIG WIN today on the Border. Today’s vote simply reaffirms Congressional Democrats are the party of Open Borders, Drugs and Crime!” Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
This is a second victory for Mr. Trump this week, who was partially exonerated a few days ago by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.