Measure to finish Trump’s wall emergency clears Congress

WASHINGTON

The Republican-controlled Senate approved a resolution Thursday rescinding President Donald Trump’s border wall national emergency declaration, setting the stage for a presidential showdown. 

The 59-41 vote paves the way for Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency. 

“VETO!” Trump exclaimed on Twitter shortly after the vote. He earlier told reporters his order would not be overturned.

In all, 12 Republicans threw their support behind the Democratic initiative, largely over concerns that the president’s action violates the Constitution’s separation of powers. 

The resolution cleared the House of Representatives last month, and Trump has vowed it will not clear his desk. 

Lawmakers would need a two-thirds majority in each chamber to override the veto, and with just 59 senators in the 100-member Senate voting in favor Thursday, such an effort would fall short barring a major shift among the Republican caucus. 

Trump moved to build his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall through an executive order last month after he failed to get the $5.7 billion he was seeking from Congress for the barrier’s construction, having shut down Congress for the longest stretch in history over his demand. 

Opponents of Trump’s executive order have warned it sets a dangerous precedent and violates the Constitution’s delegation of funding powers to the legislative branch. 

“President Trump is relying on an incredibly frail legal argument to justify this blatant power grab,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement. “It’s incumbent upon Congress to hold this president accountable as he attempts to seize one of our most important powers.”

Thursday’s vote marks the first time Congress has successfully voted to overturn a president’s executive order and is also noteworthy because lawmakers directly rebuked Trump’s effort to achieve his signature campaign pledge. 

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