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House Democrats launch bid to stop Trump’s border emergency | USA News

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US House Democrats on Friday introduced a resolution to block the national emergency declaration that President Donald Trump issued to fund promised wall along the United States-Mexico border.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a vote on the measure would come on Tuesday.

The move starts the clock on a constitutional clash between Trump and Democrats and sets up a vote by the full House as soon as next week.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also plans to introduce such a resolution. The measure needs only a simple majority in both chambers. It will need the votes of at least four Republicans to pass the Senate, assuming all the Democrats and the two independents there back it.

The Democratic-controlled House is sure to pass the measure, and the Republican-run Senate may adopt it as well despite Trump’s opposition.

If both chambers pass the resolution it would then go to Trump, who said he would veto the resolution. 

“On the wall? Will I veto it? One hundred percent. One hundred percent, and I don’t think it survives a veto. We have too many smart people that want border security, so I can’t imagine that it could survive a veto,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday. 

‘Constitutional power grab’

A Trump veto would likely be sustained, but the upcoming battle will test Republican support for Trump’s move, which some of his allies view as a stretch – and a slap at Congress’s control over the power of the federal purse.

“What the president is attempting is an unconstitutional power grab,” said Democratic Representative Joaquin Castro, the sponsor of the resolution, on a call with reporters.

“There is no emergency at the border,” he added. 

Pelosi added that the measure would “reassert our system of checks and balances”.

The battle is over an emergency declaration Trump issued to access billions of dollars beyond what Congress has authorised to start erecting border barriers. Building his proposed wall was the most visible trademark of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Congress last week approved a vast spending bill providing nearly $1.4bn to build 55 miles (89km) of border barriers in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley while preventing a renewed government shutdown. That measure represented a rejection of Trump’s demand for $5.7bn to construct more than 200 miles (322km).

Trump signed the bill, but also declared a national emergency and used other authorities that he says give him access to an additional $6.6bn. That money would be transferred from a federal asset forfeiture fund, Defense Department anti-drug efforts and a military construction fund. Federal officials have yet to identify which projects would be affected.

Castro said he has already garnered support from a majority of the Democratic-controlled House as co-sponsors and that he has at least one Republican sponsor, Justin Amash of Michigan. 

Castro’s measure says Trump’s emergency declaration “is hereby terminated”. Castro chairs the 38-member Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Pelosi wrote that the Republican president’s “decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated”.

A coalition of 16 US states led by California also sued Trump and top members of his administration on Monday to block his decision to declare the emergency.

The lawsuit said Trump’s declaration was a misuse of presidential power.

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Ottawa announces new funding to combat online child abuse

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Ottawa has announced $22 million in funding to fight online child abuse.

Noting that police-reported incidents of child pornography in Canada increased by 288 per cent between 2010 and 2017, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale made the announcement Tuesday.

It follows a London meeting last week that focused on the exploitation of children between Goodale and his counterparts from the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, collectively known as the Five Eyes intelligence group.

Major internet companies, including Facebook, Google and Microsoft, were also at the meeting and agreed to a set of rules the members of the group proposed to remove child pornography from the internet quicker.

On Tuesday, Goodale warned internet companies they had to be better, faster and more open when in comes to fighting child abuse on line.

In this Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 photo, detectives use the Cellebrite system to extract information from cellphones at the State Police facility in Hamilton Township, N.J. “Operation Safety Net,” the results of which were announced in December, netted 79 people suspected of exploiting children. (Thomas P. Costello/Asbury Park Press/Canadian Press)

“If human harm is done, if a child is terrorized for the rest of their life because of what happened to them on the internet, if there are other damages and costs, then maybe the platform that made that possible should bear the financial consequences,” Goodale said.

The government plan includes $2.1 million to intensify engagement with digital industry to develop new tools online and support effective operating principles, $4.9 million for research, public engagement, awareness and collaboration with non-governmental organizations and $15.25 million to internet child exploitation units in provincial and municipal police forces across the country.

Goodale said the strategy recognizes that technology is “increasingly facilitating the easy borderless access to vast volumes of abhorrent images.”

That, he said, makes investigations increasingly complex,

“This is a race where the course is always getting longer and more complicated and advancing into brand new areas that hadn’t been anticipated five years ago or a year ago or even a week ago,” Goodale said.

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Gas prices expected to dip in Ottawa

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If you can wait an extra day to fill up the gas tank, your bank account might thank you.

Roger McKnight of Enpro is predicting a five cent dip in gas prices Wednesday night at midnight.

This comes after a four cent drop this past Friday, just ahead of the August long weekend.

McKnight said the reason for the drop, both last week and this week, is due to comments made by US President Donald Trump. 

He says after the drop, the price will be, on average, 118.9 cents/litre in the Ottawa region.

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Oka asks Ottawa to freeze Mohawk land deal, send RCMP to Kanesatake

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The town of Oka is asking the federal and provincial governments to slap a moratorium on a proposed land grant to the local Mohawk community in Kanesatake and to establish an RCMP detachment on the First Nations territory to deal with illegal cannabis sales outlets.

The requests were contained in two resolutions adopted Tuesday night by the Oka town council.

The administration of Oka Mayor Pascal Quevillon held its first public meeting since the start of the controversy that pitted the town council against the Kanesatake band council over a decision by a local promoter to give local lands to the Mohawk community.

The three resolutions are addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, Quebec Premier François Legault’s government and the Kanesatake band council led by Grand Chief Serge Otsi Simon.

As each resolution was read into the record, Quevillon stressed that the town of Oka was only looking to live in peaceful cohabitation with the Mohawk community.

The town also called upon Ottawa to establish a consultation process that would take into account the concerns of residents in Oka and  Kanesatake.

Quevillon’s administration also wants access to the plans detailing what lands are at the centre of negotiations between the federal government and the Mohawk community for purchase, suggesting the talks are simply a disguised form of expropriation.

“They’re giving money to (the Mohawks) to buy our land and annex it to their territory,” Quevillon said.

Despite its demands, the Oka council adopted an official statement addressed to the Kanesatake band council saying the town’s population wanted dialogue and peaceful cohabitation, with Quevillon citing the 300 years of close links between the two communities.

During the council meeting’s question period, some residents suggested that the council deal with other groups that say they are speaking for Kanesatake, including Mohawk traditionalists. Mayor Quevillon replied that the town would only deal with the band council and did so out of respect for Grand Chief Simon.

The mayor also argued that the RCMP, a federal police force, was best suited to be deployed in Kanesatake, where it would ensure the law would be respected, particularly on the issue of illegal cannabis shops.

Quevillon contended such a deployment was the only way for both communities to work together toward their mutual economic development.

Meanwhile, the apology Grand Chief Simon has said he is expecting from Quevillon for remarks he made earlier this summer about the Mohawk community in Kanesatake does not appear to be coming any time soon.

Asked by a resident if he would apologize, Quevillon left the answer to those citizens who attended the meeting, the vast majority of whom replied, “no.”

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