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House prepares for vote on Trump's declaration

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 24, 2019 - Duration: 01:34s

House prepares for vote on Trump's declaration

Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri discuss the upcoming vote on a resolution aimed at stopping President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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House prepares for vote on Trump's declaration

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday on a resolution aimed at stopping President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the border with Mexico, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday.

House Democrats introduced the resolution early on Friday, taking the first step to challenge Republican Trump's assertion that he could take money Congress had appropriated for other activities and use it to build the wall.

Pelosi predicted the resolution would pass the Democratic-controlled House.

Action would then move to the Republican-majority Senate, where the measure's future is less clear.

In any case, Trump vowed on Friday to veto the measure if it passes both chambers and gets to his desk.

Congress would then have to muster the two-thirds majority necessary - a very high hurdle - to override his veto in order for the measure to take effect.

"On the wall?

Will I veto it?

One hundred percent.

One hundred percent, and I don't think it survives a veto.

We have too many smart people that want border security, so I can't imagine that it could survive a veto," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

About 226 House lawmakers have joined the sponsor, Democratic U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas, in backing the legislation.

The co-sponsors so far include one Republican, Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, Castro said.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress decides how taxpayer dollars are spent.

The president can, however, veto spending bills.

Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Masschusetts told CBS News on Sunday that "it was a clear usurpation of congressional authority," saying the bill to stop the declaration would likely pass the House but that its fate was uncertain in the House.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, meanwhile, said he was still studying the resolution and that he had not yet made up his mind on how he will vote when the bill comes to the Senate.

Trump declared the national emergency last week after Congress declined to fulfill his request for $5.7 billion this year to help build the wall.

The measure needs only a simple majority in both the House and Senate.

It will need the votes of at least four Republicans to pass the Senate, assuming all the Democrats and the two independents there back it.

Pelosi rejected Trump's argument that there is an emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The president of the United States is declaring a national emergency to honor an applause line in a rally," she said.

The issue is also in the courts.

A coalition of 16 U.S. states led by California sued Trump and top members of his administration on Monday to block his decision to declare the emergency.

Officials have said that the administration found nearly $7 billion to reallocate to the wall, including about $3.6 billion from the military construction budget.

A U.S. defense official told reporters Friday said officials had not yet decided what specific programs might be affected, although military housing would not be impacted.

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