Trump vows to veto as Dems try to block emergency order

  • The House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. House Democrats have introduced a resolution Friday to block the national emergency declaration that President Donald Trump issued last week to fund his long-sought wall along the U.S-Mexico border, setting up a fight that could result in Trump's first-ever veto. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • President Donald Trump speaks during a National African American History Month reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Manuel Balce Ceneta

  • The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. House Democrats have introduced a resolution Friday to block the national emergency declaration that President Donald Trump issued last week to fund his long-sought wall along the U.S-Mexico border, setting up a fight that could result in Trump's first-ever veto. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is visible in reflection in Washington, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. House Democrats have introduced a resolution Friday to block the national emergency declaration that President Donald Trump issued last week to fund his long-sought wall along the U.S-Mexico border, setting up a fight that could result in Trump's first-ever veto. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

Associated Press
Published: 2/22/2019 10:24:46 PM
Modified: 2/22/2019 10:25:00 PM

WASHINGTON — Democrats controlling the House have teed up a vote next week to block President Donald Trump from using a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, accelerating a showdown in Congress that could divide Republicans and lead to Trump’s first veto.

The Democrats introduced a resolution on Friday to block Trump’s declaration, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would vote on the measure on Tuesday. It is sure to pass, and the GOP-run Senate may adopt it as well. Trump quickly promised a veto.

“Will I veto it? 100 percent,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Any Trump veto would likely be sustained, but the upcoming battle will test Republican support for the president’s move, which even some of his allies view as a stretch — and a slap at lawmakers’ control over the power of the federal purse.

Pelosi, D-Calif., said she’d honor her oath of office and uphold the Constitution, adding, “I wish he would have the same dedication to that oath of office himself.” Speaking to reporters in Laredo, Texas, she said, “This is a path I would not recommend he go down. I don’t expect him to sign it, but I do expect us to send it” to him.

House GOP leaders will urge rank-and-file Republicans on Monday to oppose the measure, Republican aides said. If all Democrats and at least 55 Republicans vote for it, it would pass by a veto-proof margin — a two-thirds majority. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity to describe leaders’ plans.

A staff aide introduced the measure during a short pro forma House session in which Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., presided over an almost-empty chamber.

“What the president is attempting is an unconstitutional power grab,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, the sponsor of the resolution, on a call with reporters. “There is no emergency at the border.”

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. But the administration is more likely to tap funding from a federal asset forfeiture fund and Defense Department anti-drug efforts first.




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