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Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/NewscomThe Senate voted Thursday to terminate President Donald Trump's use of a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The final vote was 59-41 in favor of a joint resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration, with 12 Republicans joining all 45 Democrats—as well as Angus King (I–Maine) and Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), who caucus with Democrats—in voting yes. The resolution, originally introduced in the House by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D–Tex.), is fairly simple. "Pursuant to section 202 of the National Emergencies Act," it reads, "the national emergency declared by the finding of the President...is hereby terminated."
The resolution passed the House last month in a 245–182 vote. Just 13 House Republicans joined the entire Democratic caucus to vote in favor of the legislation; only one Republican congressman, Michigan's libertarian-leaning Justin Amash, co-sponsored it.
Trump's national emergency seeks to redirect $3.6 billion from the Pentagon's military construction budget toward construction of the border wall. He may have the legal authority to do so under the 1976 National Emergencies Act, which gives the president extremely broad powers, even if his reasoning leaves much to be desired.
Still, his use of emergency powers has raised concerns from those who are worried about the precedent of a president bypassing Congress, which only agreed to allocate $1.375 billion in wall funding, in order to accomplish his agenda.
A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction). I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019
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