Bad News for House Dems on Trump's First Veto

A vote of 248-181 is not enough
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 26, 2019 3:05 PM CDT
Dems Try Overriding Trump's First Veto
President Donald Trump accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, arrives for a Senate Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2019.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – The Democratic-controlled House fell short Tuesday in its effort to override President Donald Trump's first veto, handing him a victory in his drive to spend billions more for constructing barriers along the Southwest border than Congress has approved, the AP reports. Lawmakers voted 248-181 in favor of overturning his veto, mostly along party lines, but that was 38 votes shy of the number needed for the required two-thirds majority. The outcome, not a surprise, enabled Trump to move forward on an issue that was a hallmark of his 2016 presidential campaign and of his presidency. Yet the vote also gave Democrats a way to refocus on policy differences with Trump.

Congress sent Trump a resolution this month annulling the national emergency that Trump had declared at the US-Mexico border. That included passage by the Republican-led Senate, in which 12 GOP senators—nearly 1 of every 4—voted with Democrats to block him. Trump vetoed that measure almost immediately. Trump had declared the border emergency under a law that lets him shift budget funds to address dire situations. His plan is to shift an additional $3.6 billion from military construction projects to work on border barriers. Congress voted this year to limit spending on such barriers to less than $1.4 billion, and Democrats called his declaration a gambit for ignoring lawmakers' constitutional control over spending. (See how the Pentagon's budget is getting involved.)

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