Today House Democrats failed to override the presidential veto of a national emergency declaration.
After congress voted to overturn President Trump’s national emergency declaration, the Pentagon sent congress a notification stating they were reallocating a billion dollars towards construction of the border wall.
Mike Shanahan, Acting Secretary of Defense, “The conversation took place prior to the declaration of a national emergency, it was part of the consulting that went on. We said here are the risks to the department long term and those risks were weighed. And then given a legal order from the commander in chief we are executing on that order.”
That legal order will take monies from projects approved by congress called unobligated funds and use them towards the border wall.
U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez, “You cannot just take those monies that were appropriated by this congress for your own projects and for your own political purpose.”
The Pentagon has stated that no funds will be reallocated from projects which have been awarded or contracted, nor projects from the upcoming fiscal 2019 year.
The House attempted to overturn the president’s veto but failed by a vote of 248 to 181. Gonzalez says he believes Trump’s declaration maybe headed to the supreme court.
“Lawsuits have been filed in federal courts around the country. I think any federal judge will look at it and say you’ve exceeded your federal powers.” Says Gonzalez.
Several members of the House Appropriations Committee say, in light of the announcement of the transfer of funds without congressional approval, the committee will likely no longer give the Department of Defense the authority to reappropriate funds.