UPDATE – Trump vetoes national emergency resolution

            ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT 

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday, overturning a congressional effort to repeal the national emergency he declared to build his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is expected to reconsider the resolution March 26, but it is unlikely to secure the two-thirds majority to override Trump's veto.

The same holds true for the Senate, where just 59 lawmakers in the 100-member chamber voted for the resolution Thursday. In all 12 Republicans backed the Senate vote, largely over concerns about the executive order's constitutionality, despite concerted White House efforts for Republicans to uniformly oppose the resolution.

"Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it. And I'm very proud to veto it," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office after vowing it would not clear his desk.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on House Republicans to vote for the resolution later this month, saying they "will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution.”

Trump moved to build his long-promised border wall through an executive order last month after he failed to get the $5.7 billion he was seeking from Congress for the barrier's construction, having shut down Congress for the longest stretch in history over his demand.

Opponents of Trump's executive order have warned it sets a dangerous precedent and violates the Constitution's delegation of funding powers to the legislative branch.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, ripped Trump's action in a statement saying "it is no surprise that the president holds the rule of law and our Constitution in minimal regard."

"There is no emergency; Congress has refused to fund his wall multiple times; Mexico won't pay for it and a bipartisan majority in both chambers just voted to terminate his fake emergency," Schumer said.

Thursday's vote was the first time Congress moved to overturn a president's executive order.

Additional legal challenges to override the order are expected, including from Democrats, legal groups and property owners whose land Trump needs to build the wall.

Trump vetoes national emergency resolution

            By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday, overturning a congressional effort to repeal the national emergency he declared to build his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall. </p>  <p>The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is expected to reconsider the resolution later this month, but it is unlikely to secure the two-thirds majority to override Trump's veto. </p>  <p>The same holds true for the Senate, where just 59 lawmakers in the 100-member chamber voted for the resolution Thursday. 

"Congress' vote to deny the crisis on the southern border is a vote against reality," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

UPDATE – Measure to end Trump's wall emergency clears Congress

            ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT </p>  <p>By Michael Hernandez </p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The Republican-controlled Senate approved a resolution Thursday rescinding President Donald Trump's border wall national emergency declaration, setting the stage for a presidential showdown. </p>  <p>The 59-41 vote paves the way for Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency. </p>  <p>&quot;VETO!&quot; Trump exclaimed on Twitter shortly after the vote. He earlier told reporters his order would not be overturned.</p>  <p>In all, 12 Republicans threw their support behind the Democratic initiative, largely over concerns that the president's action violates the Constitution's separation of powers. </p>  <p>The resolution cleared the House of Representatives last month, and Trump has vowed it will not clear his desk. </p>  <p>Lawmakers would need a two-thirds majority in each chamber to override the veto, and with just 59 senators in the 100-member Senate voting in favor Thursday, such an effort would fall short barring a major shift among the Republican caucus. </p>  <p>Trump moved to build his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall through an executive order last month after he failed to get the $5.7 billion he was seeking from Congress for the barrier's construction, having shut down Congress for the longest stretch in history over his demand. </p>  <p>Opponents of Trump's executive order have warned it sets a dangerous precedent and violates the Constitution's delegation of funding powers to the legislative branch. </p>  <p>&quot;President Trump is relying on an incredibly frail legal argument to justify this blatant power grab,&quot; Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement. &quot;It’s incumbent upon Congress to hold this president accountable as he attempts to seize one of our most important powers.&quot;</p>  <p>Thursday's vote marks the first time Congress has successfully voted to overturn a president's executive order and is also noteworthy because lawmakers directly rebuked Trump's effort to achieve his signature campaign pledge. 

UPDATE – US Congress passes expanded anti-hate resolution

                            ADDS JOINT STATEMENT</p>  <p>By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution Thursday in a bid by House Democrats to quell an uproar over a congresswoman’s comments criticizing Israel.</p>  <p>The resolution, which passed with a vote of 407-23, condemns anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as “hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States&quot;.</p>  <p>The legislation is largely supposed to resolve a controversy over comments made by freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar last week.</p>  <p>“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said, referring to Israel, at a progressive town hall.</p>  <p>The remarks received widespread and bipartisan backlash, with others in Congress labeling them as anti-Semitic. It also led to the introduction of the resolution by Democrats in the House, which is seen as implicitly condemning the comments.</p>  <p>House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel called the remarks &quot;unacceptable and deeply offensive&quot;.</p>  <p>Omar has apologized for similar comments made last month. This time, however, she doubled down on her comments, saying she has &quot;not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel. I have questioned it, and that has been clear from my end&quot;.</p>  <p>Since her latest comments, an Islamophobic poster linking Omar to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. was placed in the West Virginia House of Delegates chamber and an assassination threat was written on the wall of a men's bathroom at a gas station in Minnesota.</p>  <p>This prompted a delay in the vote, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, and allowed for the bill to be changed from solely condemning anti-Semitism to including the condemnation of Islamophobia and other types of bigotry.</p>  <p>All three congressional Muslims hailed the passage of the resolution, calling it &quot;historic on many fronts&quot;.</p>  <p>&quot;It’s the first time we have voted on a resolution condemning anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation’s history,&quot; Reps. Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Andre Carson said in a statement.</p>  <p> &quot;We are tremendously proud to be part of a body that has put forth a condemnation of all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white supremacy.</p>  <p>&quot;Our nation is having a difficult conversation, and we believe this is great progress,” they added.</p>  <p>*Michael Hernandez contributed to this story from Washington</p><br> <p> 

US Congress passes expanded anti-hate resolution

            By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution Thursday in a bid by House Democrats to quell an uproar over a congresswoman’s comments criticizing Israel.</p>  <p>The resolution, which passed with a vote of 407-23, condemns anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as “hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States&quot;.</p>  <p>The legislation is largely supposed to resolve a controversy over comments made by freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar last week.</p>  <p>“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said, referring to Israel.</p>  <p>The remarks received widespread and bipartisan backlash, with others in Congress labeling them as anti-Semitic. It also led to the introduction of the resolution by Democrats in the House, which is seen as implicitly condemning the comments.</p>  <p>House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel called the remarks &quot;unacceptable and deeply offensive&quot;.</p>  <p>Omar has apologized for similar comments made last month. This time, however, she doubled down on her comments, saying she has &quot;not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel. I have questioned it, and that has been clear from my end&quot;.</p>  <p>Since her latest comments, an Islamophobic poster linking Omar to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. was placed in the West Virginia House of Delegates chamber and an assassination threat was written on the wall of a men's bathroom at a gas station in Minnesota.</p>  <p>This prompted a delay in the vote, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, and allowed for the bill to be changed from solely condemning anti-Semitism to including the condemnation of Islamophobia and other types of bigotry.

US: Tlaib to enter impeachment articles by month's end

            By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib announced Wednesday that she will introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump by the end of the month. </p>  <p>&quot;This President continues to violate the constitution and perform impeachable actions while in the Oval Office,&quot; Tlaib said in a statement.</p>  <p>&quot;From campaign finance violations, violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, to obstruction of justice, his conduct has created a constitutional crisis that we must confront now. Congress must be a check on this President and we must act swiftly,&quot; she added.</p>  <p>The House's Democratic leadership has, however, been reluctant to take up impeachment articles against the president without clear bipartisan support, and it is unlikely that Tlaib's effort will gain much traction in the immediate term. </p>  <p>Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, Tlaib said that while her fellow Democrats may disagree with her on the pace of impeachment, &quot;every single colleague of mine thinks there are impeachable offenses&quot;.</p>  <p>&quot;But at the same time, I think they know the dangers of allowing President Trump to continue to violate our United States Constitution,&quot; she said, according to CBS News. </p>  <p>Impeachment articles must be entered in the House and then tried in the Senate if they clear the chamber, according to the Constitution.</p>  <p>The House Judiciary Committee began a sweeping investigation Monday into Trump, his close associates and his top officials over allegations of abuse of power, corruption and obstruction of justice.</p>  <p>The probe could serve as a foundation for possible impeachment proceedings against Trump should the House decide to follow through on the matter. </p>  <p>So far, committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has requested information from 81 entities and individuals, including Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, his sons Eric and Donald, his short-lived National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the Chief Financial Officer of his business, Allen Weisselberg.

US: Omar's comments trigger House vote on anti-Semitism

            By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. House of Representatives will vote this week on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism after congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s latest remarks on Israel.</p>  <p>Top House Democrats are reportedly planning a vote for Wednesday and deciding whether the measure will condemn Omar's comments specifically or anti-Semitism more broadly, The Washington Post reported.</p>  <p>&quot;I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,&quot; Omar said at a town hall in Washington D.C. last Wednesday.</p>  <p>Her comments sparked outrage from members of Congress, with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel calling them “unacceptable and deeply offensive&quot;.</p>  <p>While the freshman congresswoman has apologized for her anti-Israel comments in the past, she stood her ground this time and doubled down on what she said.</p>  <p>&quot;I am told every day that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks,&quot; she wrote on Twitter.</p>  <p>&quot;I have not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel. I have questioned it and that has been clear from my end.&quot;</p>  <p>Reports of the resolution being drafted come as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a leftwing pro-Israel rights group, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for Congress to take up a case condemning Omar for her anti-Israel comments.</p>  <p>&quot;In light of these additional anti-Semitic statements by Rep. Omar, we ask that you give the entire Congress an opportunity, through a House resolution, to voice its rejection of her latest slur and make clear that no matter what may divide the 435 members of the House of Representatives, they are united in condemning anti-Semitism,&quot; ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan A. Greenblatt wrote.</p>  <p>However, Omar herself has been a target of hatred. Last week, the chairwoman of West Virginia's Republican party denounced an anti-Muslim poster on display in the state's capitol during a Republican event. It contained two images: one of Omar and one showing planes flying into the World Trade Center in reference to the Sept.11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.</p>  <p>The caption read: “Never forget, you said”…&quot;I am proof you have forgotten.&quot;</p>  <p>Greenblatt acknowledged the display of hate against Omar but said it was not an excuse to &quot;rationalize anti-Semitism&quot;.</p>  <p>The resolution marks the second time Congress has pushed forward legislation condemning Omar for comments made against Tel Aviv. </p>  <p>Last month, Republican lawmakers pushed legislation for condemning anti-Semitism after Omar said on Twitter that political support for Israel was entirely motivated by money doled out by the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.

UPDATE – House votes to overturn Trump's emergency declaration

            ADDS DETAILS</p>  <p>By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday aimed at ending President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration to fund his southern border wall.</p>  <p>The bill passed by a vote of 245 to 182, but Trump has threatened to veto it should it reach his desk.</p>  <p>While the resolution was mostly backed by Democrats, a small group of Republicans also voted in support of the measure.</p>  <p>Earlier this month, Trump declared a national emergency on border security, attempting to circumvent Congress for funds after lawmakers gave him only a small fraction of the $5.7 billion he had been seeking to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.</p>  <p>The resolution, entered by Democratic congressman Joaquin Castro and co-signed by more than 200 lawmakers in the House, marks the first congressional challenge to the controversial declaration.</p>  <p>The Senate will now have up to 18 days to take the bill up for a vote.</p>  <p>Unlike much of Washington's politics, there has been a fair amount of bipartisan pushback against the president's declaration over concerns that it sets a dangerous precedent and violates the Constitution's separation of powers. </p>  <p>Some Republicans in both chambers have publicly warned against the president's action, and with the Democratic-led resolution passing its first hurdle in the House, it may also pass in the Senate. </p>  <p>In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Republican Senator Thom Tillis said he “would vote in favor of the resolution disapproving of the president's national-emergency declaration”.</p>  <p>Republican senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are also expected to vote in support of the resolution.</p>  <p>Trump’s declaration is also facing a number of legal challenges, including by 16 states seeking to overturn the executive action. </p>  <p>One of the recent lawsuits against the Trump administration comes from Texas landowners on the country’s southern border, who are suing in order to keep the government from taking their property.

House votes to overturn Trump's emergency declaration

            By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday aimed at ending President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration to fund his border wall.</p>  <p>The bill passed by a vote of 245 to 182, but Trump has threatened to veto it should it reach his desk.</p>  <p>While the resolution was mostly backed by Democrats, a small group of Republicans also voted in support of the measure.</p>  <p>Earlier this month, Trump declared a national emergency on border security, attempting to circumvent Congress for funds after lawmakers gave him only a small fraction of the $5.7 billion he had been seeking to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.</p>  <p>The resolution, entered by Democratic congressman Joaquin Castro and co-signed by more than 200 lawmakers in the House, marks the first congressional challenge to the controversial declaration.</p>  <p>The Senate will now have up to 18 days to take the bill up for a vote.