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House set to vote to end Trump’s border wall ’emergency’

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The U.S. House of Representatives votes on Tuesday on a resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

House Democrats introduced the resolution last week, challenging Trump’s assertion that he could take money Congress had appropriated for other activities and use it to build the wall.

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The resolution is expected to sail easily through the Democratic-controlled House. Action then moves to the Republican-majority Senate, where the measure’s future is uncertain even though it only requires a simple majority to pass.

While Tuesday’s vote will be another chapter in a long-running fight between Trump and Democrats over border security and immigration policy, it also will be a test of constitutional separation of powers, as it is the House and Senate that primarily dictate spending priorities, not the president.

The No. 2 House Democrat, Representative Steny Hoyer, said at a press conference on Monday that he had traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border twice in the past few weeks.

“What I concluded is there is no crisis at the border. The issue … will be whether there is a crisis of our constitutional adherence,” Hoyer said.

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At least two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have told the media they are likely to vote for the measure. But at least another two Republican votes would be needed if the resolution is to pass that chamber, assuming all Democrats and two independents back it.

Trump, who declared the national emergency this month after Congress declined his request for $5.7 billion to help build a border wall, vowed last week to veto the measure if it passes both chambers.

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Congress would then have to muster the two-thirds majority necessary – a high hurdle – to override the president’s veto in order for the measure to take effect.

A bipartisan group of 58 former national security officials issued a statement Monday saying there was no “factual basis” for Trump’s emergency declaration.

Lawmakers must not allow “any president (to) on a whim declare emergencies, simply because he or she can’t get their way in the Congress,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer declared Monday.

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Schumer warned Trump’s emergency declaration “could cannibalize funding from worthy projects all over the country,” noting that the administration had not even decided yet what projects to take the funds from.

About 226 House lawmakers are co-sponsoring the bill, including all but a handful of Democrats as well as one Republican, Justin Amash.

The issue is also in the courts. A coalition of 16 U.S. states led by California have sued Trump and top members of his administration to block his emergency declaration.

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Congress this month appropriated $1.37 billion for building border barriers following a 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 and Richard Cowan; Editing by Tom Brown

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Former US ambassador to Denmark torches Trump’s Greenland plan on CNN: ‘I laughed until I cried’

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Rufus Gifford, who previously served as the United States' ambassador to Denmark under former President Barack Obama, told CNN's John Berman that he can't believe President Donald Trump really thinks he can buy Greenland.

During a CNN interview Monday, Berman asked Gifford what his reaction was to the president publicly discussing his desire to do a "big" real estate deal with Denmark to buy Greenland.

Gifford did not respond positively.

"Honestly, I saw the Wall Street Journal headline when I was bound for Copenhagen," he said. "Like most people, I thought it was a joke. Reading more, it became confirmed. I shook my head, as I often say, many times as I've heard about Trump's foreign policy decisions, I laughed until I cried."

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China lashes Taiwan over offer to Hong Kong protesters

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China slammed Taiwan Monday for offering asylum to Hong Kong people facing prosecution for involvement in anti-government protests, telling the island's leaders to "stop meddling" in the territory's affairs.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen voiced support last month for granting asylum to some Hong Kong protesters, with the semi-autonomous financial hub in the midst of an unprecedented political crisis.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Chinese cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office, warned Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party to "stop undermining the rule of law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs, and stop indulging criminals in any way".

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Trump ‘puppet master’ Stephen Miller: 21 things you need to know

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Even among the right-wing ideologues doing the actual presidenting in this administration, Stephen Miller stands out for the copious amounts of Kool-Aid he mainlines. Speaking to the New York Times, a Trump team colleague described Miller as “fiercely loyal” to the president, “a true believer in every sense of the word.” Though he joined the campaign in its early days, penning many of the apocalyptic speeches that won fear-drunk Republican hearts and minds, Miller recently got a lot more visibility after a string of television appearances in defense of the Muslim ban. At each stop, Miller showed a flair for the dramatic: he lied, he dodged, he put on his best tyrant’s voice and proclaimed the executive branch above the law. It seemed contrived and forced, like a politically precocious, weasley teenager’s idea of how to command a crowd. According to those who know Miller’s history, that’s not so far off the mark.

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