House votes to end national emergency on southern border

Senate passed measure earlier this week, but Trump all but certain to veto it.

A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols the border wall in Rio Grande Valley sector of the Texas border in August. (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call file photo)
A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols the border wall in Rio Grande Valley sector of the Texas border in August. (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted September 27, 2019 at 12:00pm

The House voted Friday to end President Donald Trump’s national emergency along the southern border, but without a sufficient enough margin to overcome an all-but-certain veto.

With 11 Republicans joining them, 224 Democrats (and independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan) voted 236-174 to terminate the emergency, which Trump declared Feb. 15. All of the “no” votes came from Republicans.

The Senate approved the measure earlier this week, 54-41, with 11 Republicans, 42 Democrats and independent Angus King of Maine supporting the resolution.

Earlier this spring, both chambers passed a similar termination resolution, but without sufficient majorities to overcome Trump’s March 15 veto. The White House has threatened to veto the current resolution as well.

Under federal law, Congress may vote to end a national emergency every six months after its declaration.

The White House has used the emergency declaration to repurpose $3.6 billion of Defense Department funds appropriated for 127 military construction projects to build a wall along the southern border. Trump has made completing 500 miles of wall a priority before the 2020 presidential election.

Before the vote, House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-New York, called the shift of Pentagon funds an end-run around Congress’ power of the purse, and she said Congress would not backfill the Pentagon accounts to make up for the money that had been reprogrammed.

“The president chose his wall over our national security and the needs of our servicemembers and their families,” she said. “Terminating the president’s fake national emergency declaration is the only way to restore the 127 projects whose funding he stole.”

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