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House Democrats Pass Bill Seeking to Block Trump’s National Emergency Wall Declaration

The legislation would prevent the declaration of a national emergency related to the insecure southern border if not vetoed.

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House Democrats passed a bill Tuesday night designed to prevent President Trump from declaring a national emergency as the basis to fund wall construction on the southern border.

The legislation passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives by a vote of 245-182, short of a veto-proof majority. The lack of a two-thirds majority means the bill can be vetoed by President Trump, who has threatened to do just that to ensure the means to declare a national emergency remain available.

Thirteen Republicans joined with Democrats in seeking to restrict the declaration of a national emergency. They included:

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Justin Amash, Michigan
Brian Fitzpatrick, Pennsylvania
Mike Gallagher, Wisconsin
Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington
Will Hurd, Texas
Dusty Johnson, South Dakota
Thomas Massie, Kentucky
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington
Francis Rooney, Florida
Jim Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin
Elise Stefanik, New York
Fred Upton, Michigan
Greg Walden, Oregon

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Some of the Republicans taking the side of the Democrats on border security are known for opposition to immigration enforcement and connections to big business interests that favor a free flow of low-paid cheap migrant labor. Others have an objection to the procedural basis of a border wall national emergency, seeing the power to appropriate funds on the matter as being exclusive to Congress, despite precedent for emergency declarations being used to take federal actions similar to wall construction.

Despite seeming to endorse a national emergency wall declaration when passing a government funding package that precluded funding for the project, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to be getting cold feet about the possibility of the declaration. However, President Donald Trump has yet to rule out the utilization of emergency presidential powers to finally fund the wall that American people were promised as a result of his election to the office of the Presidency.

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