clearn.png
Saturday September 21st, 2019 5:07AM

Democrats will try to block Trump's border wall maneuver

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are moving on two fronts to block President Donald Trump from using special emergency powers to transfer money from military base construction projects like new schools to pay for new fences along the U.S.-Mexico border.

First, Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York announced Tuesday that he will force a vote to reject the plan, saying the vote would give lawmakers a chance to block Trump "from stealing military funding from their states to foot the bill for an expensive and ineffective wall he promised Mexico would pay for."

A similar measure passed this spring with 12 Senate Republican votes but was vetoed by Trump. The rules allow Schumer to retry every few months and don't allow Republicans to block the vote.

Perhaps more ominously for Trump is a potential vote on Thursday in the powerful Appropriations panel, where several members agree with Democrats that Trump is overstepping by reordering spending decisions by Congress to fund wall projects that have otherwise been rejected.

A top Appropriations Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, said he will move to amend a $694 billion Pentagon funding bill to block Trump from diverting money intended for military projects to the wall.

The Pentagon last week identified $3.6 billion worth of military construction projects it's willing to kill to build 175 miles (282 kilometers) of border wall. The projects included a $63 million middle school in GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's state of Kentucky though most of them are located outside the continental U.S.

"The cancellation of these projects is based on a national emergency declared by the president that was rejected on its face by both house of Congress on bipartisan votes," Durbin said. "Congress cannot and should not be silent when the power of the purse is undermined in this way. Why are we here?"

Durbin would prevail in the vote if panel Republicans like Roy Blunt of Missouri and Susan Collins of Maine vote like they did in March — a development that would embarrass top Republicans like McConnell and Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby.

McConnell said Durbin's move, along with an abortion-related vote promised by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on a separate health spending bill, amount to "poison pills" that violate the recent budget pact.

"I can't overstate how difficult it was, given the players involved, to reach an agreement," McConnell said. "And here, when we begin to take the first step in our committee process here, our Democratic friends ... are trying to wiggle out of the agreement we all signed off on and voted for. So I think it is truly a disturbing development."

In remarks caught on a live microphone after a panel vote on the whopping defense measure Durbin implored Shelby to work with him to stop Trump's border wall maneuvering. Shelby was clearly sympathetic.

"I'm going to do everything I can," Shelby said. "Listen, I'm going to talk to McConnell, and you talk to Schumer and let's see if we can get together."

A Shelby spokeswoman said the Alabama Republican was talking more generally about moving the appropriations process — which would fill in the details of this summer's bipartisan spending and debt deal — forward. Shelby is also pushing ahead, for now, to deliver Trump's full $5 billion request for new wall funding in the upcoming round of spending bills, though it's a non-starter with Senate Democrats and powerful House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Schumer said Trump is actually trying to win $12 billion for the wall once the $5 billion request is combined with money that Trump is shifting from military accounts.

"They know darn well that $12 billion additional for the wall is not going to fly — with Senate Democrats or with the House. So they ought to get to serious negotiating now that they've shown the president they're paying a little more fealty to him," Schumer said.

Schumer's move in the full Senate to force a repeat vote could put some Republicans in a difficult spot. For instance, endangered Republicans Cory Gardner of Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona supported Trump in the earlier vote in March but stand to each lose funding for a home state project.

Trump says a wall would stop immigrants from entering the United States illegally. He promised repeatedly during his 2016 presidential campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico refused.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US steps up anti-Iran campaign ahead of UN General Assembly
Trump administration steps up campaign to get other nations to boost pressure on Iran as world leaders prepare to meet at the UN
12:02PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trapped crewman survived 'hellish conditions'
4 crew members rescued from capsized ship off Georgia coast survived 'hellish conditions' perched above deep water in pitch darkness and oven-like temperatures
11:54AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Texas inmate set to be executed for killing woman in 2010
A Texas death row inmate is facing execution for fatally shooting a 61-year-old grandmother at her North Texas home nearly a decade ago during an eight-day spate of crimes that included thefts and another killing
11:49AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Groundbreaking photographer Robert Frank dies at age 94
Influential 20th-century photographer Robert Frank, author of 1959's 'The Americans', has died at age 94
11:44AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Share of uninsured Americans rises for 1st time in a decade
Proportion of Americans without health insurance rises for 1st time in decade; poverty rate falls
11:44AM ( 26 minutes ago )
NOAA chief thanks Alabama weather office in Dorian forecast
The head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is both defending the administration and thanking a local weather office that contradicted President Donald Trump's claims about Hurricane Dorian threatening Alabama
11:39AM ( 31 minutes ago )
AP National News
Boris Johnson lost Parliament but he could win a UK election
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lost Parliament but he still could win a UK election
10:11AM ( 1 hour ago )
Officials: 31 Iraqi pilgrims die in stampede during Ashoura
Officials: At least 31 pilgrims died in the Iraqi Shiite holy city of Karbala when part of a walkway collapsed as tens of thousands of people were marked Ashoura, one of the most sacred religious holy days for the Shiite sect
10:02AM ( 2 hours ago )
Turkey accuses US of stalling on Syria 'safe zone' plans
Turkey accuses US of taking only 'cosmetic steps,' stalling on creation of 'safe zone' in northeast Syria
9:30AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Debate offers Harris chance to regain momentum in 2020 race
California Sen. Kamala Harris seeks a second wind as the field of Democratic presidential candidates narrows
10:41AM ( 1 hour ago )
EPA to reduce use of animal testing in predicting hazards
The Environmental Protection Agency is trying to sharply cut agency's use of animal testing
10:31AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump calls NC vote 1st step to removing Pelosi
President Donald Trump is urging North Carolina voters to "take the first steps" toward removing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
8:50AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
NRA sues San Francisco over terrorist declaration
The National Rifle Association has sued San Francisco over that city's recent declaration that the gun-rights lobby is a "domestic terrorist organization."
11:53PM ( 12 hours ago )
California closer to letting college athletes make money
The California Assembly has passed a bill aimed at paying college athletes, setting up a confrontation with the NCAA that could jeopardize the athletic futures of powerhouse programs like USC, UCLA and Stanford
11:51PM ( 12 hours ago )
PG&E plan offers billions to victims, others after wildfires
PG&E Corp. offers nearly $18 billion to settle claims from devastating wildfires in Northern California started by company equipment
9:48PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
US job openings fell 0.4% in July
US job openings slipped 0.4% in July, while total hiring ticked up
11:35AM ( 36 minutes ago )
France's business federation warns of 'Brexit without end'
France's main business federation says Britain's Oct. 31 departure from the European Union shouldn't be delayed again unless there's a major shift in negotiations, warning that "a Brexit without end" would be economically damaging
11:32AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Italy's new government faces second confidence vote
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte's new government is facing a second confidence vote, needed for his uneasy left-leaning coalition government to remain in power
11:11AM ( 59 minutes ago )
AP Business
US steps up anti-Iran campaign ahead of UN General Assembly
Trump administration steps up campaign to get other nations to boost pressure on Iran as world leaders prepare to meet at the UN
12:02PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trapped crewman survived 'hellish conditions'
4 crew members rescued from capsized ship off Georgia coast survived 'hellish conditions' perched above deep water in pitch darkness and oven-like temperatures
11:54AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Texas inmate set to be executed for killing woman in 2010
A Texas death row inmate is facing execution for fatally shooting a 61-year-old grandmother at her North Texas home nearly a decade ago during an eight-day spate of crimes that included thefts and another killing
11:49AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Judge sets new sentencing date for Michael Flynn
A federal judge has set a Dec. 18 sentencing date for Michael Flynn as a lawyer for President Donald Trump's former national security adviser accused federal prosecutors of "egregious government misconduct."
11:49AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Mar-a-Lago employee says Chinese woman acted 'weird'
A receptionist at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club says a Chinese businesswoman was acting "weird and strange," causing her to alert a Secret Service agent posted near the lobby
11:48AM ( 23 minutes ago )