Senate Again Votes Against Border Wall Funding

The Senate voted Wednesday to pass a resolution canceling President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration and thus stopping him from redirecting military construction funds toward a border wall, a move which is very likely to face a veto from the White House.

The resolution got the necessary vote from Republicans to pass the chamber but failed short of the veto-proof majority needed to proceed to the House of Representatives. The two chambers passed a similar resolution earlier this year, but it was eventually vetoed by President Trump.

The 54-41 vote in the GOP-controlled Senate represents a rare and largely unexpected move, demonstrating Republican opposition to Trump’s signature border wall. Wednesday’s vote was almost identical to that back in March, although Senator Marco Rubio did not vote this time.  

Those Republicans who supported the resolution stressed that they are also in favor of building the wall, but wished to defend the congressional prerogative to decide how taxpayer money is spent by the government, The Wall Street Journal informs.

“Congress alone is empowered by the Constitution to adopt laws directing money to be spent from the United States Treasury,” said Senator Susan Collins, a Republican, who sponsored the resolution. “We must stand up and defend our role that the Framers very clearly set forth in the Constitution.”

Prior to the President declaring a national emergency, Congress had approved $1.38 billion in funding for the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, putting an end to the longest government shutdown in American history.

However, as the funding fell considerably short of what Trump was seeking, he declared a national emergency, giving him the authority to reallocate billions of dollars from Pentagon construction projects.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon released a list of projects that would have to be delayed due to the border wall construction, which included six elementary, middle and high schools in the U.S. for military families and three more overseas. Reconstruction of several military bases would also have to be put on hold.

While the majority of Republicans stand behind the President’s effort, Democrats were quick to express their dissatisfaction with the fund diversion.

“If my Republican friends choose to stand with President Trump on this vote, they will be supporting the president taking money from our military and their families to fund a border wall,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday.

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