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Has a president’s national emergency ever been blocked? What can Trump do after vote?

Now that the U.S. Senate has voted to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency on border security, what happens next?

Can Trump veto the decision?

Can the courts intervene?

And has this ever happened before?

Here’s what you need to know.

What’s happening now?

In 1976, the National Emergency Act codified what had been a confusing constitutional question about the president’s ability to assume emergency powers, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Presidents have invoked the act 59 times since then, with 32 emergencies still in effect, counting Trump’s most recent one on border security.

But the act also gives Congress the power to override a president’s declaration of a national emergency, according to the center.

In February, Trump declared a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border in order to divert military construction funds to construct a border wall after Congress refused to allocate all the money he had sought, CNBC reported.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 245-182 on Feb. 26 to override Trump’s emergency declaration, USA Today reported.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted 59-41 to overturn the declaration, CBS News reported. Twelve Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting it.

With a vote of 245 ayes and 182 nays, The House passed a resolution to terminate President Trump's national emergency declaration to build a Mexico-U.S. border wall. The resolution now heads to the Senate for debate in mid-March.

Can Trump veto the decision?

Not only does Trump have the power to veto the action, he’s already vowed to do so.

“A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction),” Trump wrote Thursday morning on Twitter. “I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!”

Following the vote Thursday, Trump made a one-word post to Twitter: “VETO!”

The House and Senate can override Trump’s veto, but that requires a super-majority of two-thirds of each chamber to approve. Neither the House nor Senate reached that threshold.

Trump has already predicted that his promised veto will not be overridden, CBS News reported. It would be the first veto of his presidential term.

What happens then?

The fight would most likely next head to the courts.

Sixteen states, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, have already filed suit to block the national emergency declaration in court, CNN reported.

The suit argues that Trump has misused his national emergency powers to thwart the will of Congress regarding funds for a border wall, according to the network.

Has this ever happened before?

In 1952, President Harry Truman used his emergency powers to nationalize the steel industry to end a strike by steelworkers during the Korean War, NBC News reported. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Truman had exceeded his authority in a 6-3 vote.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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