Construction continues on a new section of barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border on Jan. 8, 2019, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico. President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency because Congress did not approve of $5.7 billion in funding to build a border wall. Photo by Mario Tama | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted to block President Trump’s emergency border wall declaration on Monday, delivering a stinging rebuke to the White House.
The chamber voted 245-182 for a resolution to end Trump’s emergency declaration. The president is attempting to use the declaration to circumvent Congress to secure billions of dollars in funding for a wall along the southern U.S. border.
All four Arizona Republicans — Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert — voted against the resolution. The five Democrats in the state’s delegation — Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Tom O’Halleran and Greg Stanton — cast votes in favor of blocking the emergency declaration.
The resolution now heads to the GOP-led Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is required under the National Emergencies Act to hold a vote on the House resolution within 18 days.
Several Senate Republicans have signaled they’ll side with Democrats in the vote, including Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. The resolution would need the support of at least four Republicans to clear the chamber.
Trump has said he’d veto the resolution if it makes it to his desk. Overriding that veto would require two-thirds majorities of 290 in the House and 67 votes in the Senate. In Tuesday’s vote, House backers of that resolution fell short of the votes they would need to override a veto.
Trump has argued that the declaration is necessary to secure U.S. borders and curb crime. He wrote on Twitter Monday, “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!”
But Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans have accused the president of acting unconstitutionally by spending federal funds against the wishes of Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Trump’s move a “power grab” that “fundamentally violates the balance of power envisioned by our Founders.”
Critics of the president’s declaration are suing Trump, too. Sixteen states led by California filed a lawsuit seeking to block the declaration. Those states also include: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.
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