Trump vows veto as Democrats launch resolution to stop border emergency
By Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday on a resolution aimed at stopping President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the border with Mexico, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday. House Democrats introduced the resolution early on Friday, taking the first step to challenge Republican Trump's assertion that he could take money Congress had appropriated for other activities and use it to build the wall.
By Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday on a resolution aimed at stopping President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the border with Mexico, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday.
House Democrats introduced the resolution early on Friday, taking the first step to challenge Republican Trump's assertion that he could take money Congress had appropriated for other activities and use it to build the wall.
Pelosi predicted the resolution would pass the Democratic-controlled House. Action would then move to the Republican-majority Senate, where the measure's future is less clear.
In any case, Trump vowed on Friday to veto the measure if it passes both chambers and gets to his desk. Congress would then have to muster the two-thirds majority necessary - a very high hurdle - to override his veto in order for the measure to take effect.
"On the wall? Will I veto it? One hundred percent. One hundred percent, and I don't think it survives a veto. We have too many smart people that want border security, so I can't imagine that it could survive a veto," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
About 226 House lawmakers have joined the sponsor, Democratic U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas, in backing the legislation. The co-sponsors so far include one Republican, Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, Castro said.
"What the president is attempting is an unconstitutional power grab," Castro said in a conference call with reporters. He called on all members of Congress - Democrats and Republicans - to support the resolution terminating Trump’s emergency declaration, saying it tramples on congressional authority and would set a dangerous precedent.
Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress decides how taxpayer dollars are spent. The president can, however, veto spending bills.
Trump declared the national emergency last week after Congress declined to fulfil his request for $5.7 billion this year to help build the wall.
The measure needs only a simple majority in both the House and Senate. It will need the votes of at least four Republicans to pass the Senate, assuming all the Democrats and the two independents there back it.
Pelosi rejected Trump's argument that there is an emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. "The president of the United States is declaring a national emergency to honour an applause line in a rally," she said.
The issue is also in the courts. A coalition of 16 U.S. states led by California sued Trump and top members of his administration on Monday to block his decision to declare the emergency.
Officials have said that the administration found nearly $7 billion to reallocate to the wall, including about $3.6 billion from the military construction budget. A U.S. defence official told reporters Friday said officials had not yet decided what specific programs might be affected, although military housing would not be impacted.
There are about 5,000 U.S. active duty and National Guard troops near the border now and that would go up to about 6,000 next month, the official said. He added it could take weeks for an assessment of what Pentagon money might be shifted to the wall project, and months before any construction.
Congress this month appropriated $1.37 billion for building border barriers following a long battle with Trump, which included a 35-day partial government shutdown - the longest in U.S. history - when agency funding lapsed on Dec. 22.
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell in Washington; additional reporting by Idrees Ali and Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis and James Dalgleish)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.