Democrats vow to force third vote on Trump’s border wall emergency declaration
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 Schumer (D-N.Y.) as well as Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tom Udall (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.
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.
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.