House passes resolution to overturn Trump's emergency declaration on border wall

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters the Senate is unsure if President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration to build a wall on the US-Mexico border is legal.

Posted: Feb 27, 2019 7:19 AM


The House on Tuesday rebuked President Donald Trump over one of his signature issues, passing a resolution to overturn his emergency declaration to unlock money for wall construction at the US southern border.

The vote was 245-182. Thirteen Republicans voted with Democrats to pass the measure.

The resolution will next be taken up by the Senate, where it will put Republican unity to the test, though Senate leaders have signaled they will not bring it to a vote immediately.

It is not yet clear how many Republicans will vote for the resolution in the Senate, but it looks likely to pass the upper chamber, despite the fact that Republicans hold a majority. That would be yet another blow to the President, who has said he will veto the resolution if it comes to his desk.

A test of Republican unity in the Senate

If four Republicans join all the Democrats in the Senate to pass the resolution, the measure would then face a presidential veto. The White House formally issued a veto threat on Tuesday afternoon.

Congress would then need an overwhelming majority -- two-thirds of its members -- in both chambers to overrule the President. It is unlikely that there would be enough support on Capitol Hill to overturn a veto.

So far, there are three Republicans who have signaled they will vote in favor of the resolution. And Senate GOP aides fully expect the resolution to pass when it is brought to the floor.

GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who is up for re-election in 2020, said in a Washington Post op-ed on Monday evening that he would vote in favor.

"As a conservative, I cannot endorse a precedent that I know future left-wing presidents will exploit to advance radical policies that will erode economic and individual freedoms," he wrote.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins, a key swing vote also up for re-election in 2020, has said that she plans to vote in favor if it is "a clean disapproval resolution."

GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, another key swing vote, told reporters on Tuesday that she will vote in support of the resolution.

During the recent 35-day government shutdown, the longest such federal shutdown in US history, Trump pushed Congress to appropriate $5.7 billion for physical barriers along the border with Mexico. The divided legislature rejected his proposal and the President eventually accepted its bill for $1.375 billion in border security measures.

But before signing the bill, Trump announced he would go around Congress to get the wall he wanted, presenting Republicans on Capitol Hill with a difficult choice. While some will support their party's leader on his top campaign issue, others argue it could set a poor precedent for future Democratic presidents to push liberal policies without congressional input.

Republican leadership is not worried or up-in-arms right now about the state of play on the resolution, however, because they don't view this as a fight to block the resolution. They view it as a fight to make sure it stays below a veto-proof threshold and they appear on track for that now.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has expressed confidence that the GOP would deny votes in the House for a veto-proof majority.

"Yes," the California Republican said when CNN asked if they'd have the votes to deny a veto-proof majority. "If you read what the Democrats ... say, (that) the emergency is over -- no, it's not."

When the Senate will vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that he expects the Senate will vote on the resolution before the next Senate recess, which will take place the week of March 18.

"We will certainly be voting on it," he said.

McConnell said that GOP senators had a "fulsome discussion" at their afternoon policy lunch about the "legality and appropriateness" of the emergency declaration. The lunch was attended by Vice President Mike Pence and a lawyer from the Justice Department.

The Republican leader said he hasn't "reached a total conclusion" about whether he believes the President's emergency declaration is legal.

Trump calls on Republicans not to side with Democrats

The President has been putting public pressure on Republicans over border security and has urged them not to side with Democrats.

"I hope our great Republican Senators don't get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security," the President tweeted on Monday. "Without strong Borders, we don't have a Country - and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don't fall into the Democrats 'trap' of Open Borders and Crime!"

As of Tuesday morning, many Republican senators said they were still undecided about how they will vote on the resolution.

Sen. Martha McSally, a Republican from the border state of Arizona, and Sen. Pat Toomey, a conservative from Pennsylvania, told CNN they were still looking at their options.

Republican Sens. Tim Scott of South Carolina and David Perdue of Georgia said they planned to vote with the President against a resolution of disapproval.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, of Tennessee, told CNN on Monday he does not support the President's emergency declaration, but would review the resolution of disapproval before deciding how he'd vote.

"I think it is unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the Constitution," said Alexander of the declaration. "And I feel strongly about that."

This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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