Nancy Pelosi wants to set an example.
The House speaker acknowledged Wednesday that Congress all but certainly won’t be able to block President Trump’s border wall veto, but asserted she will force a vote on the matter anyway because the President’s attempt to “deface” the Constitution shouldn’t go unanswered.
“Whether we can succeed with the number of votes is not the point,” Pelosi said during a press conference in Manhattan when asked why she has set a March 26 vote in the House to override Trump’s veto. “We are establishing the intent of Congress. The President has decided to be in defiance of the Constitution, to deface it, with his actions.”
Trump’s Friday veto — the first of his presidency — overturned a bipartisan resolution passed by both chambers of Congress that would have rescinded the national emergency he declared Feb. 15 in an attempt to bankroll his coveted wall without congressional approval.
In order to kill Trump’s veto, the House and the Senate would need two-thirds of its members to unite against it — a virtual impossibility, considering a majority of Republicans side with the President.
However, Pelosi said voting on the veto sends a message to Trump and helps propel the litany of legal challenges filed against his emergency order.
“Establishing the intent of Congress will help us in the court of law and in the court of public opinion,” the speaker said.
Twelve Republican senators and 18 Republican House members — far more than initially expected — broke ranks and joined Democrats in voting to undo Trump’s emergency order last week, arguing he had acted unconstitutionally by circumventing the will of Congress.
Earlier this year, the President signed spending legislation approved by lawmakers that only earmarked $1.3 billion for border fencing and general border security.
Nonetheless, the White House maintains Trump’s emergency order allows him to unlock about $8 billion from federal reserve budgets and use it to fund the border wall he used to promise Mexico would pay for.
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