House fails to override Trump veto on border wall

The 248-181 vote Tuesday was short of the two-thirds majority needed to overturn Trump's first veto, as most Republicans voted against the resolution despite the public unpopularity of the emergency declaration.

The House vote comes almost a month after the chamber passed a resolution to reverse the president's border declaration in a 245-182 vote, with 13 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure. That hands him a victory because his declaration of a national emergency at the Southwest border will remain in effect.

Late in February, the House voted to end Trump's emergency declaration. The GOP-controlled Senate would also be unlikely to reach that threshold, with Republican leaders there showing no inclination to bring it up for a vote in any case. A coalition of 16 states, led by California, sued the Trump administration last month in an effort to block the declaration.

"We take an oath to the Constitution, not to the president of the United States", Pelosi said on the House floor.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks to the press at Port of Entry #2 after touring the Texas-Mexico border, February 22, 2019.

"Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it", Trump said from the Oval Office before officially sending the measure back to Congress without his approval.

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.

"Whether we can succeed with the number of votes is not the point", Pelosi said at an event in NY.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, called Trump's declaration "constitutional vandalism". (R-TX), voted Tuesday in support of President Donald Trump's national emergency order to fund a border wall.

The Pentagon sent lawmakers a list last week of hundreds of military construction projects that might be cut to pay for barrier work. This time, 14 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for an override.

"The committee does not approve the proposed use of Department of Defense funds to construct additional physical barriers", the Washington Democrat wrote.

In a January televised address, Trump laid down a proposal for a border security compromise that would provide temporary protection from deportation to some 700,000 illegal immigrants in exchange for border wall funding.

Congress sent a resolution to the White House this month terminating the emergency declaration, which Trump vetoed nearly immediately.

The president then declared the emergency, vowing to divert funds from other accounts for the wall.

Minutes after the vote, Trump tweeted in capitals, "VETO!", an indication that he would reject the resolution. Thirteen Republicans voted for the resolution in the first place.

With the House override failing, the Senate won't attempt its own override and the veto will stand.


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