Senate Democrats will force another vote to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration as the White House faces backlash for funneling military money toward the president’s border wall.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the move Tuesday as he called Trump’s action “an outrageous power grab by a president who refuses to accept the constitutional separation of powers.” In remarks on the Senate floor, he said he expects a vote within the next month.
“The recourse for such a brazen power grab should be an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the Congress to terminate the emergency declaration and reassert our constitutional authority,” the New York Democrat said. “Most of my colleagues know this is wrong.”
The chamber already voted to block the emergency declaration over migration at the southern U.S. border in March, about a month after Trump declared it. But the Senate failed to garner enough support to overcome the president’s veto.
Congress has the authority to try to end the president’s move once every six months. Under the national emergency provision, Schumer does not need Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s clearance to try to block the declaration.
The declaration gave Trump the authority to redirect money from military construction projects. Last week, the administration announced the projects from which it would pull $3.6 billion — including several in states where GOP senators face tough reelection bids.
Democrats slammed Trump for the move. Some Republicans such as Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney of Utah also criticized the president.
A vote shortly after the Trump administration announced the states from which it will draw money could put more political pressure on some senators who did not oppose the declaration in March.
In March, the Senate voted by a 59-41 margin to block the emergency declaration. Twelve Republicans supported the move.
It is unclear if the chamber could now muster the two-thirds majority vote needed to overcome a presidential veto. Schumer said Tuesday that “we need some more people to join us” to overturn the declaration.
Trump repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for the barrier on the southern border, a key campaign promise. But America’s neighbor never promised money for the project, and Trump could not get Congress to approve his desired funds either.