In 2016, Trump promised to build a wall on the U.S. southern border. After failing to convince Congress to provide funding for this project, he officially declared the border a national emergency in February. When Congress rejected this declaration, Trump issued his first veto, subsequently diverting $3.6 billion from over 100 military projects around the world to fund border wall construction.
On October 17th, the Republican-controlled Senate voted 53-36 to overturn the veto and reject Trump’s border wall national emergency declaration. However, this vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override his decree. 43 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to overturn the veto.
"The President's emergency declaration is an unconstitutional power grab," said Senator Tom Udall, D-New Mexico. He and other Democrats named a variety of projects the Trump Administration has delayed in exchange for 11 different border wall developments.
Among these delayed projects are:
- -Schools for the children of military service members
- -European Deterrence Initiative projects (designed to deter Russian agendas)
- -Disaster relief projects for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria
- -Military readiness programs
In response to the criticism, Trump wrote, “The situation on our southern border remains a national emergency, and our Armed Forces are still needed to help confront it.” He claimed the Senate’s attempt to overturn his veto would “impair the government’s capacity to secure the Nation’s southern borders against unlawful entry and to curb the trafficking and smuggling that fuels the present humanitarian crisis.” With his veto still in place, Trump will continue to circumvent Congress and divert federal funds to the border wall’s construction. Congress can legally vote on this legislation once every six months, and many believe this will not be their last attempt to overturn the emergency declaration.
Another resolution attempted to prohibit the Trump Administration from replacing Obama’s Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which “supports energy diversity” by eliminating restrictions on coal plants. With a vote of 41-53, this attempt to block the ACE failed as well.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel referred to the Clean Power Plan as a “job-killing scheme,” one Republican (Susan Collins of Maine) sided with Democrats. According to Collins, climate change is “a significant risk that threatens Maine’s working forests, fishing, and agricultural industries, as well as tourism and recreation and our coastal communities.
On November 21st, government funds for all agencies will run out. Many are concerned about another potential government shutdown, as the Senate has not yet approved a significant number of spending bills. Lawmakers are currently struggling to decide how to allocate funds in light of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies.
If lawmakers do not resolve all spending bills by the 21st, funds could freeze, possibly interfering with the impeachment trial leaders believe could take place in December.At Guerra Sáenz, PL , our lawyers have years of experience successfully overcoming the legal barriers to immigrant rights. Attorney Guerra is a Board-Certified Specialist in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Florida Board of Legal Specialization and Education. With the support of his extensive training and specialized knowledge, our firm will provide the quality legal counsel and representation you need to accomplish your immigration goals. Request a consultation online or call our firm at (888) 936-3228 today.