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A demonstrator holds a sign in Lafayette Square during a demonstration organized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) protesting President Donald Trump's declaration of emergency powers on February 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

'Major Rebuke of Trump's Authoritarianism': Senate Votes to Terminate National Emergency

"From the beginning, his national emergency declaration was a racist attack on the very foundation of our democracy."

Jake Johnson

Rights groups celebrated a "historic rebuke" of an unconstitutional power grab Thursday after the Senate voted to terminate President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration by an overwhelming bipartisan margin.

"Today's vote is a major blow to President Donald Trump's autocratic ambitions," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. "The American people don't want a racist border wall, and by overwhelming numbers they oppose Trump's emergency declaration. They rose up and made their voices clear."

The final vote count was 59-41, with 12 Republicans joining Democrats to pass the resolution of disapproval.

Trump declared a national emergency last month following a record 35-day government shutdown over his demand for $5 billion in border wall funding from Congress.

The president's declaration was immediately met with widespread outrage and a torrent of legal challenges.

In a joint statement, the Revoke Trump Emergency Coalition—an alliance of more than a dozen progressive advocacy groups—said Thursday's vote in the Senate was the product of "grassroots outcry from every corner of this country."

"From the beginning, his national emergency declaration was a racist attack on the very foundation of our democracy, and an assault on the principle of separation of powers," the coalition said. "We'll keep up the heat until Congress reins Trump in, and until every immigrant in our country is treated with dignity and fairness."

The measure, which passed the House last month, will now head to Trump's desk. On Twitter, the president said he "look[s] forward to vetoing" the resolution.

In a statement, MoveOn.org campaign director Emma Einhorn said Trump's veto promise means the fight against his power-grab is far from over.

"Trump has already shown, in so many ways, his complete disregard for the law and the will of the American people," Einhorn concluded. "If Trump vetoes this legislation, we call on Congress to override it, and to do everything in its power to defund hate by cutting agents, detention beds, and demilitarizing our border in the 2020 budget fight."


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