The House was unable to muster the votes to override Donald Trump’s veto of their measure attempting to limit his ability to declare a national emergency in order to build the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to CNN, the lower chamber needed about 290 votes in order to override the president’s veto — the first of his tenure — but was only able to come up with 248 votes. All told, 14 Republicans sided with Democrats on the vote.
Trump issued the veto in question in early March, after Congress voted to block the measure, one which would allow the president to re-allocate Pentagon funds to build his signature wall.
The outcome of the vote means that Trump can move forward with his agenda to build the wall, which he made a key component of his presidential campaign. Despite holding a majority in both the House and Senate for the first part of his presidency, Trump was unable to round up the funding through the normal budgetary channels, eventually forcing a government shutdown that lasted longer than any other in U.S. history.
After failing to negotiate a compromise, the president declared a national emergency at the border so that he could appropriate the money needed.
Many Republicans and most Democrats saw the move as an overreach of power. Republicans worried that the move would enable a future Democratic president to push through their own agenda items without getting approval from Congress in the future.
“We all agree with the need for border security, so I want to be clear on that, but we need to separate out the need for border security with how we get there. And there are constitutional concerns here,” said Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican representative from Pennsylvania.
The House failed to overturn President Trump's first veto, leaving the declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border intact https://t.co/LVELUtHToF— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 26, 2019
Other Republicans supported the move. Tom Graves, a Republican representative from Georgia, expressed support for the funding during the debate, according to The Hill.
“The men and women who put their lives on the line every single day to secure our borders deserve all the tools they need to do the job, including a border wall,” Graves said. “Through President Trump’s proclamation and his veto of House Joint Resolution IV, he’s acting decisively to finally address this crisis under the authority provided to him by Congress.”
Democrats were not surprised that the initiative failed, but Pelosi said that the point of the legislation was to establish intent to help their continuing battle against the wall in the courts.