President Trump Vetoes Bill to End Border National Emergency
By Preston Huennekens | FAIR Take | October 2019
President Donald Trump vetoed a second joint resolution that would have ended the national emergency declaration at the southern border.
The President issued the emergency declaration in February 2019 after a lengthy budget showdown with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. That standoff created the longest continuous government shutdown in American history, as Trump refused to sign any spending bill that did not fund a border wall and Democrats refused to appropriate a single cent towards border wall construction.
In March, the House and Senate jointly voted to end the national emergency. Trump vetoed that bill. This is now the second time that the president has vetoed a joint resolution terminating his emergency declaration. This most recent effort passed by a vote of 236-174 in the House and by a vote of 54-41 in the Senate. In the House, 11 Republicans joined every Democrat in support of ending the emergency declaration. In the Senate, ten Republicans voted to end the state of emergency.
The emergency declaration allows President Trump to use funds from other parts of the government to begin border wall construction. Since issuing the declaration, the administration has repaired roughly 71 miles of border wall and plans to build 164 new miles of barriers.
The House and Senate can challenge the president’s emergency declaration every six months. It is likely that the administration will veto a third attempt to overturn the emergency declaration six months from now. In addition to congressional challenges, 16 states have sued the administration to date. A district judge issued a nationwide injunction, citing Congress’ “absolute control over federal expenditures.” Construction ceased until the Supreme Court ruled in July that the administration could begin using roughly $2.5 billion in Pentagon funding to construct parts of the border wall.
The President has now twice vetoed Congressional attempts to end the emergency declaration. Lacking a two-thirds majority, Congress must now wait for another six months before voting again to end the emergency declaration.