Trump wins wall battle as House fails to override veto

Attorney General William P. Barr leaves his home in McLean Va. on Monday

The House of Representatives failed on March 26 to override President Donald Trump's first veto, leaving in place the national emergency he declared last month to redirect funding toward a U.S. -Mexico border wall construction beyond what Congress approved for the goal.

A veto override requires two-thirds support, and the House vote fell short, 248-181.

President Trump argued earlier this month when he used his veto pen for the first time on the measure that crime, illegal drugs and trafficking at the border justified his decision to go around Congress and pay for a border wall. That included passage by the Republican-led Senate, in which 12 GOP senators - almost 1 of every 4 - voted with Democrats to block him.

This year, Trump sought $5.7 billion in wall funding. And earlier this month, 12 Republicans in the Senate voted with Democrats on the resolution, sending it to the president's desk where he issued his first veto. The national emergency is also being challenged in the courts.

Lawmakers of both parties said the emergency declaration - which allows Trump to redirect money Congress appropriated for other purposes and use it for border construction instead - represented a dramatic intrusion into Congress' authority over government spending. Roy Blunt, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

Under the declaration, Trump wants to shift $3.6 billion from military construction projects to erecting barriers. "The committee does not approve the proposed use of Department of Defense funds to construct additional physical barriers and roads or install lighting in the vicinity of the United States border", Smith said in a letter to the Department of Defense.

Just 14 Republicans sided with Democrats to try to overturn the veto Tuesday - about the same number as voted last month during the initial vote to end the wall declaration.

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The House voted unanimously last week for a resolution calling for any report in Mueller's investigation to be made public . The president also claimed Wednesday that Mueller's "best friend is Comey, who's a bad cop", referring to James B.

Trump heralded the summary of the Mueller report as a "complete and total exoneration" and vowed to strike back with investigations of his own against unnamed political enemies who he believes are guilty of "evil" and "treasonous things".

"The radical left in this House would dissolve our borders entirely if given the chance", declared Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif.

"The president has the authority to act".

Congress, to which the Constitution assigned control over spending, voted weeks ago to provide less than $1.4 billion for barriers. Though the list was tentative, Democrats were asserting that Republican politicians were endangering local bases to pay for the wall.

'The President's lawless emergency declaration clearly violates the Congress's exclusive power of the purse, and Congress will work through the appropriations and defense authorization processes to terminate this unsafe action and restore our constitutional system of balance of powers, ' she said in a statement after the vote.

The House easily passed the resolution of disapproval in February. On Tuesday, Trump opponents will need to reach 288 votes to prevail. Republicans were hoping to avoid a confrontation with him for fear of alienating pro-Trump voters.

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