President Donald Trump last week declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that he said is necessary to allow him to build a border wall in order to stop immigrants from entering our country.
But Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth said she believes there are enough votes in Congress to stop Trump’s emergency declaration, according to reporting from ABC News.
Resolutions have already been introduced in the Democratic-led House of Representatives, where the measure is expected to pass. The Senate, which is run by the Republican Party, is also looking like it could pass the measure in a bipartisan fashion, according to Duckworth.
“Frankly, I think there’s enough people in the Senate who are concerned that what he’s doing is robbing from the military and the [Department of Defense] to go and build this wall,” Duckworth said.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 18, 2019
Indeed, Trump’s national emergency declaration would allow him to differ billions of dollars in Pentagon spending away from other priorities. The president is hoping to spend up to $8 billion total on border wall construction efforts. Only $1.375 billion of that was approved by Congress in its latest spending bill compromise.
If both houses of Congress pass resolutions thwarting the president’s declaration, Trump still has one last option: use of his veto power. It would be the first bill or resolution vetoed by Trump since he assumed office two years ago.
One of Trump’s top advisers on immigration matters, Stephen Miller, said in a recent interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace that the president could use the veto pen to ensure his national emergency isn’t blocked.
Trump is “going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed,” Miller said, per reporting from NPR.
There aren’t enough votes, it’s believed by many in Congress, to override a presidential veto on the issue. However, even if Trump plans to use his veto power to block a resolution that would attempt stop his national emergency declaration, that likely won’t be the end of efforts to stop his wall, as legal challenges from various groups opposing the president’s plans have already been put forward, the Washington Post reported over the weekend.