It is unlikely the House has enough votes today to override President Trump’s veto of Congress’ March 14 resolution that voided his call for a national emergency on the southern border.
Last January, the House voted 245-182, with 13 House Republicans breaking with the White House, to pass the resolution. Today, Congress would need another 30 Republicans to reach the two-thirds majority needed to override.
House Democrats are once again expected to stand unified in opposition to the declaration of a national emergency.
“The president will be fine in the House,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, according to an Associated Press report published by Time. “The veto will not be overridden.”
This month, 12 GOP senators opposed the declaration in a 59-41 vote to block the declaration. Senate Democrats were unified in their opposition. If the House vote fails, the Senate won’t attempt its own override and the veto will stand, according to the Associated Press.
Congress’ resolution to stop Trump’s declaration seems to be as much about honoring the Constitution’s system of checks and balances as it relates to border security.
The Constitution assigns Congress with the task of controlling the nation’s spending. When the president was not satisfied with the less than $1.4 billion for barriers at the border allotted by Congress this year, he circumvented the legislative process by declaring a national emergency to gain access to more funding.
This unnerved lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who worried that this would set a precedent where the Executive Branch can bypass Congress by declaring an emergency to finance their own favored initiatives.
It is uncertain when the declaration would have any impact on border security funding. The Associated Press reports that the number of lawsuits already underway in opposition to the measure might take years to resolve.
During all of this political wrangling, Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller sent a scathing memo to the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last week, detailing shortfalls in the defense budget due to unexpected spending on border security, according to The Inquisitr.
Budget constraints are causing the Marine Corps to make decisions that are “not desired nor easy,” according to the memo, such as canceling or limiting planned military exercises with allies like Indonesia, Scotland, Australia, and South Korea. This all comes at a time when the U.S. is attempting to strengthen alliances and attract new partners, according to CNN.
If the vote to override fails today, this will be the 60th presidential emergency since a 1976 law allowed presidents to declare national emergencies, according to the AP. This will be the first one aimed at spending that Congress explicitly denied.