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House to Vote on Measure to Revoke Trump's Border National Emergency
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass a measure Tuesday to revoke President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency on the country's southern border.
Democrats introduced the bill after Trump's February 15 declaration, arguing his actions went against the constitutional separation of powers that gives Congress control over how federal money is spent.
Democratic control of the House means the bill is sure to pass there. Several Republicans in the Senate have indicated they would support the measure as well, but it remains to be seen if enough would join Democrats there to send the bill to Trump's desk.
What seems certain is that once there, Trump would use his veto power to kill the initiative, and that there would not be enough votes in Congress to override the veto.
Trump has argued since his campaign for president that the United States needs a wall along its border with Mexico to stop people from entering the country illegally and to halt the flow of drugs.
He demanded Congress approve $5.7 billion in spending for wall construction, but Democrats refused, saying a wall is an expensive and ineffective way to address border security issues. Instead, they agreed to a border security spending package that included nearly $1.4 billion for about 90 kilometers of border barriers in Texas.
Trump's emergency declaration allows him to reallocate about $6 billion in money already approved for other purposes, most of it from the Defense Department.
On Monday, a group of 58 former U.S. national security officials, both Republicans and Democrats, issued a statement saying Trump had "no factual basis" to declare a national emergency to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Signatories included former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and John Kerry, along with former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former United Nations Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former Defense chief and Central Intelligence Agency director Leon Panetta and former State Department counselor Eliot Cohen.
Another letter from 28 former Republican members of Congress expressed their disapproval for Trump's declaration, saying it undermined both Congress and the Constitution.