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House Vote to Stop Wall Likely to Fail 03/26 06:17

   President Donald Trump is nearing a victory over Democrats as the House 
tries overriding his first veto , a vote that seems certain to fail and would 
let stand his declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is nearing a victory over 
Democrats as the House tries overriding his first veto , a vote that seems 
certain to fail and would let stand his declaration of a national emergency at 
the Mexican border.

   Tuesday's vote would keep the border emergency intact, which for now would 
let him shift an additional $3.6 billion from military construction projects to 
work on a barrier along the southwest boundary. Building the wall was one of 
his most oft-repeated campaign promises, though he claimed the money would come 
from Mexico, not taxpayers.

   Trump's emergency declaration drew unanimous opposition from congressional 
Democrats and opposition from some Republicans, especially in the Senate , 
where lawmakers objected that he was abusing presidential powers.

   But while Congress approved a resolution voiding Trump's move, the margins 
by which the House and Senate passed the measure fell well short of the 
two-thirds majorities that will be needed to override the veto. That's expected 
to happen again when the House votes Tuesday.

   "The president will be fine in the House," said Minority Leader Kevin 
McCarthy, R-Calif., in a brief interview. "The veto will not be overridden."

   Even with his veto remaining intact, Trump may not be able to spend the 
money for barriers quickly because of lawsuits that might take years to resolve.

   Tuesday's vote was coming as Trump claimed a different political triumph 
after Attorney General William Barr said special counsel Robert Mueller had 
ended his two-year investigation without evidence of collusion by Trump's 2016 
campaign with the Russian government.

   Democrats were hoping to use the border emergency battle in upcoming 
campaigns, both to symbolize Trump's harsh immigration stance and claim he was 
hurting congressional districts around the country.

   The Pentagon sent lawmakers a list last week of hundreds of military 
construction projects that might be cut to pay for barrier work. Though the 
list was tentative, Democrats were asserting that GOP lawmakers were 
endangering local bases to pay for the wall.

   Congress, to which the Constitution assigned control over spending, voted 
weeks ago to provide less than $1.4 billion for barriers. Opponents warned that 
besides usurping Congress' role in making spending decisions, Trump was 
inviting future Democratic presidents to circumvent lawmakers by declaring 
emergencies to finance their own favored initiatives.

   Trump supporters said he was simply acting under a 1976 law that lets 
presidents declare national emergencies. 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.

   The House approved the resolution blocking Trump's emergency by 245-182 in 
February. On Tuesday, Trump opponents will need to reach 288 votes to prevail.

   Just 13 Republicans opposed Trump in February, around 1 in 15. Another 30 
would have to defect to override his veto.

   This month, the GOP-led Senate rebuked Trump with a 59-41 vote blocking his 
declaration after the failure of a Republican effort to reach a compromise with 
the White House. Republicans were hoping to avoid a confrontation with him for 
fear of alienating pro-Trump voters.

   Twelve GOP senators, nearly 1 in 4, ended up opposing him.

   If the House vote fails, the Senate won't attempt its own override and the 
veto will stand.


(KA)

 
 
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