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Dems prepare next steps after Trump's veto

Democrats are planning a vote that aims to override President Trump's veto of legislation blocking his emergency declaration, an effort that’s all but certain to fail.

The House will hold a veto-override vote on March 26, shortly after lawmakers return from a weeklong recess, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOvernight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget Did Democrats forfeit 2020? On The Money: Senate rejects border declaration in rebuke to Trump | Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns | Waters says Wells Fargo should fire its CEO MORE (D-Calif.) announced Friday. The measure is unlikely to garner the necessary two-thirds majority, given that only 13 House Republicans joined with Democrats in support of a resolution last month to block Trump's emergency declaration to build a border wall.

And even though 12 Senate Republicans joined all Democrats to send the measure to Trump’s desk, eight more would have to defect in that chamber to override the veto, the first of Trump's presidency.

Even if they can’t force Trump to revoke the national emergency, Democrats are hoping to highlight the constitutional questions surrounding Trump's declaration and the infighting it’s prompted within the GOP.

“House Republicans will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Democrats are also eyeing other strategies for preventing Trump from expanding the wall with funds Congress previously allotted for other purposes, including military construction projects.

"Any veto override is difficult, but we keep fighting. Both chambers of Congress — one Republican and one Democrat — are on record to terminate the President's emergency declaration," Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroTexas Dems warn of 'land grab' if Trump's emergency order survives Nielsen testifies: Five things you need to know National Emergencies Act leaves Congress lacking MORE (D-Texas), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and author of the disapproval resolution, said Friday in an email.

“This will provide significant evidence for the courts as they review lawsuits,” he added. “We will also continue working in Congress to find avenues to terminate the emergency declaration — whether it be through appropriations or other processes.”

One such avenue is simply to bring repeated votes on Castro’s disapproval resolution — a plan suggested Thursday by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCampaign to draft Democratic challenger to McConnell starts raising funds Schumer congratulates J. Lo and A-Rod, but says 'I'm never officiating a wedding again' If Democrats are serious about voting rights, they can't ignore Puerto Rico MORE (D-N.Y.). Democrats are also considering efforts to attach the language as an amendment to larger bills, including 2020 spending measures and reauthorization of defense funding — legislation that’s “a natural fit” for the disapproval resolution, according to a Democratic aide.

The Senate cleared a resolution on Thursday to block Trump’s emergency declaration, with the support of a dozen Republicans, after the House passed it late last month.

Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony on Friday that Americans would be at risk if the "dangerous" resolution became law.

“Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it,” Trump said, marking the first veto of his presidency.

Schumer signaled that Senate Democrats would force additional votes on resolutions of disapproval blocking Trump every six months, as allowed under the National Emergencies Act, to prolong an issue that divides Republicans.

"I believe the law allows us to bring it up every six months, and certainly we would intend to do that," Schumer told reporters.

Schumer maintained that senators should challenge the White House even if Trump will veto each of those disapproval resolutions.

"The point of defending the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers put so exquisitely into our government? We've got to defend it 10 times even if they knock it down in hopes of winning the 11th," Schumer said.

House Democratic leaders are weighing the possibility of additional votes as well, a leadership aide said.

It’s also possible that Democrats could file a lawsuit challenging the emergency declaration or join an existing one, but no decision has been made. Sixteen state attorneys general, led by California’s Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraUber to pay million to settle fight over driver benefits, pay Judge blocks Trump administration from adding citizenship question to 2020 census Overnight Health Care — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Drug company offers cheaper insulin | California first state to sue over Trump abortion rule | FDA calls out retailers for tobacco sales to minors MORE (D), filed a lawsuit last month, with more states signing on in recent weeks.

But Democrats said the passage of a resolution -- especially under divided government -- to terminate the declaration could bolster the legal arguments challenging Trump’s authority.

“Think about it: both chambers of Congress, one Democratic and one Republican, voted to terminate the President’s emergency declaration,” Castro said. “As the courts review this, that will be a significant legal fact.”

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are working on legislation that would overhaul the National Emergencies Act and make it easier for Congress to terminate future emergency declarations.

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget 12 Republican senators defy Trump on emergency declaration  Senate rejects border declaration in major rebuke of Trump MORE (R-Utah) introduced a bill this week -- ahead of Thursday’s vote on the resolution to block the declaration -- that would automatically end all future emergency declarations after 30 days unless Congress votes to extend the emergency. That measure was intended as part of a potential deal allowing Senate Republicans to vote against terminating the border emergency declaration in exchange for Trump endorsing the bill to rein in national emergencies.

But Pelosi made clear that the House wouldn’t take up such legislation “to give President TrumpDonald John TrumpDenver Post editorial board says Gardner endorsement was 'mistake' NY attorney general: Evidence shows Trump misused charity for presidential campaign Sanders says Trump administration based on 'hatred and lies' MORE a pass.”

The talks ultimately fell apart, leading the 12 Senate Republicans to vote with Democrats to block the declaration.

But when asked after Thursday’s vote on the declaration if the House could take up legislation to reform the National Emergencies Act, a Pelosi spokesman said House committees are looking into the issue.

“The House Committees are reviewing the President’s unlawful use of the National Emergencies Act. It was never intended - and still is not permissible - to be used by the President to settle a policy dispute in which he miserably failed to convince the Congress and the American people,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in an email.

Jordain Carney contributed.

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