Senate Democrats will force Republicans to vote again on President Donald Trump’s contentious national emergency declaration in the next month.
Trump declared a national emergency in February to build a wall along the southern border after he failed to secure billions he asked for amid the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history. Under the declaration, $8 billion would be diverted from federal accounts to build a barrier.
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Under federal law, Democrats can bring up a disapproval vote on Trump’s national emergency declaration, essentially forcing some Republicans to continue to back it. In March, the Senate passed a resolution disapproving of Trump’s national emergency, with support from 12 Republicans. The president, however, vetoed the resolution.
“Democrats and Republicans alike should vote to terminate the president’s national emergency declaration,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday. “You can be sure we will make sure that everyone will have a chance to do so within the next month.”
In a floor speech, Schumer criticized the Trump administration for its plan to raid $3.6 billion in military construction projects to build his border wall.
“This issue rises to a large and vital constitutional issue,” Schumer said. “Does our country truly have checks and balances, particularly when we have such an overreaching president? We all must consider the dangerous precedent that would set”
The national emergency vote could put vulnerable Republicans up for re-election in 2020 in a tough position. Several Republicans, including Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, supported the national emergency and represent states from which military funding will be diverted for the border wall.