Senate Again Rejects Trump’s Border Emergency, but Falls Short of a Veto-Proof Majority – The New York Times

The list of 127 projects that will be delayed to fund the border wall includes schools in desperate need of repair, new fire stations and health care centers, and in Puerto Rico, projects targeted after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017.

Some of the Republicans who supported the measure contended that their votes were meant primarily to protect Congress’s ability to control the power of the purse, rather than as a rejection of Mr. Trump’s border wall.

“We must stand up and defend our role that the framers very clearly set forth in the Constitution,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who took to the Senate floor ahead of the vote to plead with her colleagues to support the resolution. Ms. Collins is facing a competitive re-election race next year.

Republicans who voted against the measure, for their part, scoffed at what Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, called a “show vote,” arguing that the national emergency had only been declared as a result of an unwillingness by Democrats to compromise on the border wall.

“Democratic leadership would like to invent a false choice between border security and other important military construction projects,” Mr. McConnell said in a floor speech. “The only reason there’s any trade-off is that Democrats have refused to work with the president.”

Mr. McConnell stressed, as Pentagon officials have done in conversations with lawmakers in recent days, that the funds for the projects were simply delayed, since Congress can replace the money in either the annual defense authorization policy or the must-pass spending bills that allocate funding for the next fiscal year.

Ms. McSally, for her part, has offered a resolution that would instruct lawmakers negotiating the defense policy bill for the 2020 fiscal year to insist upon replenishing the military construction funds. The version of the bill the House passed does not provide any funds to backfill those projects.


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