Democrats vow to force third vote on Trump's border wall emergency declaration

Democrats vow to force third vote on Trump's border wall emergency declaration
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats on Wednesday are vowing to force a third vote aimed at ending President Trump's national emergency declaration amid reports that the White House is shifting more money from the Pentagon to the border wall.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump over treatment of protesters House Democrat demands answers from Secret Service about role breaking up White House protests Pelosi, Schumer say treatment of protesters outside White House 'dishonors every value that faith teaches us' MORE (D-N.Y.) as well as Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyHouse punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA Frustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  MORE (D-Vt.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedBipartisan Senate panel leaders back fund to deter China The Hill's Coronavirus Report: National Portrait Gallery's Kim Sajet says this era rewiring people's relationship with culture, art; Trump's war with Twitter heats up Overnight Defense: Trump to withdraw US from Open Skies Treaty | Pentagon drops ban on recruits who had virus | FBI says Corpus Christi shooting terror-related MORE (D-R.I.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats aim to amend Graham subpoena to include Trump allies Rosenstein steps back into GOP crosshairs Frustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  MORE (D-Ill.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on the cusp of formally grasping the Democratic nomination Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez defeats Valerie Plame in New Mexico primary Republican Mark Ronchetti to face Rep. Ben Ray Luján in New Mexico Senate race MORE (D-N.M.) released a statement saying they "strongly oppose" Trump's decision, calling it a “continued cannibalization” of the Pentagon's accounts.

"We will continue to oppose the transfer of counterdrug funding for the wall, and will force yet another vote to terminate the President’s sham national emergency declaration and return these much-needed military construction funds back to our military," the Democrats said.

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The Washington Post reported that Trump will divert $3.5 billion from the Pentagon's counterdrug programs and $3.7 billion from military construction funding.

The decision sparked bipartisan backlash from lawmakers tasked with funding the government, with Republicans raising public questions about potential unintended consequences for the military.

Democrats added on Wednesday that the decision was a "slap in the face" to the military.

“Bipartisan majorities in Congress have repeatedly rejected diverting money from critical military construction projects to build a single additional mile of border wall. Robbing the Defense Department of these much-needed funds in order to boost his own ego and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build is an insult to the sacrifices made by our service members," they said.

Passing legislation to block Trump's emergency declaration requires a simple majority in the Senate, though supporters would need 67 votes to ultimately override Trump's veto.

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The Senate has previously voted twice to end the emergency declaration, with roughly a dozen GOP senators voting with Democrats to nix Trump's decision.

Under the National Emergencies Act, Democrats can force a vote on ending Trump’s emergency declaration every six months. The Senate voted in September and, for the first time, last February to end the emergency declaration.

Trump, however, vetoed both measures and Congress has been unable to override the veto.