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PoliticsDems prepare next steps after Trump's veto

00:35  16 march  2019
00:35  16 march  2019 Source:   thehill.com

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Even if they can’t force Trump to revoke the national emergency, Democrats are hoping to highlight the constitutional questions surrounding Trump ' s "Any veto override is difficult, but we keep fighting. Both chambers of Congress — one Republican and one Democrat — are on record to terminate the

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Dems prepare next steps after Trump's veto© Stefani Reynolds Dems prepare next steps after Trump's veto Democrats are planning a vote that aims to override President Trump's veto of legislation blocking his emergency declaration, an effort that's all but certain to fail.

The House will hold a veto-override vote on March 26, shortly after lawmakers return from a weeklong recess, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Friday. The measure is unlikely to garner the necessary two-thirds majority, given that only 13 House Republicans joined with Democrats in support of a resolution last month to block Trump's emergency declaration to build a border wall.

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But McConnell argued that Trump was acting well within his powers and consistently with previous invocations of the National Emergencies Act. Dems prepare next steps after Trump ' s veto . Democrats are planning a vote that aims to override President Trump ' s veto of legislation blocking

And even though 12 Senate Republicans joined all Democrats to send the measure to Trump's desk, eight more would have to defect in that chamber to override the veto, the first of Trump's presidency.

Even if they can't force Trump to revoke the national emergency, Democrats are hoping to highlight the constitutional questions surrounding Trump's declaration and the infighting it's prompted within the GOP.

"House Republicans will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution," Pelosi said in a statement.

Democrats are also eyeing other strategies for preventing Trump from expanding the wall with funds Congress previously allotted for other purposes, including military construction projects.

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Trump declared a national emergency last month after lawmakers failed to appropriate his desired funds for a border wall. Pelosi declined to say Thursday whether she would have the House vote to override Trump ' s promised veto , saying, “We'll take it one step at a time.”

The House failed Tuesday to override President Donald Trump ' s veto after both chambers of Congress sought to overturn his national emergency declaration to build more border wall.

"Any veto override is difficult, but we keep fighting. Both chambers of Congress - one Republican and one Democrat - are on record to terminate the President's emergency declaration," Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and author of the disapproval resolution, said Friday in an email.

"This will provide significant evidence for the courts as they review lawsuits," he added. "We will also continue working in Congress to find avenues to terminate the emergency declaration - whether it be through appropriations or other processes."

One such avenue is simply to bring repeated votes on Castro's disapproval resolution - a plan suggested Thursday by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). Democrats are also considering efforts to attach the language as an amendment to larger bills, including 2020 spending measures and reauthorization of defense funding - legislation that's "a natural fit" for the disapproval resolution, according to a Democratic aide.

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Mr. Trump , issuing the first veto of his administration, had called the resolution “dangerous,” “reckless,” and a “vote against reality.” In the interim, the Pentagon has taken the first steps to begin diverting money from other Defense Department funds toward constructing fencing at the border.

The Senate cleared a resolution on Thursday to block Trump's emergency declaration, with the support of a dozen Republicans, after the House passed it late last month.

Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony on Friday that Americans would be at risk if the "dangerous" resolution became law.

"Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it," Trump said, marking the first veto of his presidency.

Schumer signaled that Senate Democrats would force additional votes on resolutions of disapproval blocking Trump every six months, as allowed under the National Emergencies Act, to prolong an issue that divides Republicans.

"I believe the law allows us to bring it up every six months, and certainly we would intend to do that," Schumer told reporters.

Schumer maintained that senators should challenge the White House even if Trump will veto each of those disapproval resolutions.

"The point of defending the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers put so exquisitely into our government? We've got to defend it 10 times even if they knock it down in hopes of winning the 11th," Schumer said.

After Veto, Some Lawmakers See a New Emergency: Fixing the Act Trump Invoked

After Veto, Some Lawmakers See a New Emergency: Fixing the Act Trump Invoked Those in favor of overhauling the 1976 law he invoked remain determined to pursue bipartisan changes.

House Democratic leaders are weighing the possibility of additional votes as well, a leadership aide said.

It's also possible that Democrats could file a lawsuit challenging the emergency declaration or join an existing one, but no decision has been made. Sixteen state attorneys general, led by California's Xavier Becerra (D), filed a lawsuit last month, with more states signing on in recent weeks.

But Democrats said the passage of a resolution -- especially under divided government -- to terminate the declaration could bolster the legal arguments challenging Trump's authority.

"Think about it: both chambers of Congress, one Democratic and one Republican, voted to terminate the President's emergency declaration," Castro said. "As the courts review this, that will be a significant legal fact."

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are working on legislation that would overhaul the National Emergencies Act and make it easier for Congress to terminate future emergency declarations.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced a bill this week -- ahead of Thursday's vote on the resolution to block the declaration -- that would automatically end all future emergency declarations after 30 days unless Congress votes to extend the emergency. That measure was intended as part of a potential deal allowing Senate Republicans to vote against terminating the border emergency declaration in exchange for Trump endorsing the bill to rein in national emergencies.

But Pelosi made clear that the House wouldn't take up such legislation "to give President Trump a pass."

The talks ultimately fell apart, leading the 12 Senate Republicans to vote with Democrats to block the declaration.

But when asked after Thursday's vote on the declaration if the House could take up legislation to reform the National Emergencies Act, a Pelosi spokesman said House committees are looking into the issue.

"The House Committees are reviewing the President's unlawful use of the National Emergencies Act. It was never intended - and still is not permissible - to be used by the President to settle a policy dispute in which he miserably failed to convince the Congress and the American people," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in an email.

Jordain Carney contributed.

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