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In our Tuesday news wrap, the House failed to override President Trump's veto of a bill to block his national emergency declaration. The 248 lawmakers voting to override fell 38 short of a required two-thirds majority. The declaration still faces legal challenges. Meanwhile, members of both parties denounced Pentagon plans to allocate military funds to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
In the day's other news: The U.S. House of Representatives upheld President Trump's veto of a measure to block his national emergency declaration. In all, 248 lawmakers voted to override, but that was 38 short of the two-thirds majority needed. The emergency declaration along the southern border, still faces multiple legal challenges.
Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats alike denounced Pentagon plans for using military funds to pay for a southern border wall. At a House hearing, they challenged acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. He said he had had a very difficult discussion with the White House.
We said, here are the risks longer-term to the department, and those risks were weighed. And then, given the legal order from the commander in chief, we are executing on that order.
Shanahan has informed Congress that he wants to shift as much as $1 billion in his budget to the border wall project.
In Chicago, television actor Jussie Smollett is now a free man. The state today abandoned charges that he staged an attack on himself.
Yamiche Alcindor has our report.
A stunning turn of events in the Jussie Smollett case. Today, prosecutors dropped all 16 felony counts against the actor, but questions remain about what went into the decision to clear him.
Before leaving the Cook County courthouse, Smollett proclaimed his innocence.
I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I wouldn't be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of.
Smollett had been charged with falling a false police report, claiming he was the victim of a racist anti-gay attack.
Patricia Brown Holmes:
There is no deal. The state dismissed the charges.
The actor's lawyer insisted her client didn't strike a deal.
But a prosecutor told us The Chicago Tribune that the office did make a deal. They would drop the charges if Smollett performed community service and forfeited $10,000 in bail.
Do I think justice was served? No.
Today, Chicago Superintendent Eddie Johnson blasted the prosecutors' decision.
We know they chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system.
The mayor, Rahm Emanuel, barely contained his fury. He too stood by the decision to charge the actor.
This is a whitewash of justice.
Smollett told police two men beat him, tied a noose around his neck and yelled "This is MAGA country," referring to President Trump's make America great again slogan.
Last month, police said, to boost his status and pay on the TV series "Empire," he paid the men to stage the attack. Today, the mayor said Smollett took advantage of hate crime laws and got away with it.
To self-promote your career is a cost that comes to all the individuals, gay men and women who will come forward and one day say they were a victim of a hate crime who now will be doubted.
Supporters of the actor disagree. Smollett's family released a statement that said his name had been — quote — "unjustly smeared."
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Yamiche Alcindor.
The state of Oklahoma and the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, reached a $270 million settlement today over the opioid epidemic. It is the first such outcome in a wave of lawsuits. They accuse drug makers of addicting millions of Americans to opioids. The Sackler family, with controlling interest in Purdue Pharma, will pay part of the settlement.
The long-running battle over the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is heating up again. Last night, the Trump administration asked a federal appeals court to strike down the entire law, instead of selected sections.
In turn, House Democrats today unveiled a bill to strengthen the law.
Democrats' Green New Deal failed to advance in the U.S. Senate today. It would fight climate change with a major shift to renewable energy. Republicans argued that it would break the economy, and they tried to force supporters to go on the record.
Sen. John Barrasso R-Wyo.:
It is a big green bomb that will blow a hole in our strong, healthy, and growing economy. It's unaffordable, $65,000 per family per year. It would essentially bankrupt America.
Sen. Edward Markey D-Mass.:
We will not allow the Republicans to make a mockery of our democratic process and of the debate over the climate crisis. And we are joined by a movement of people, young and old, all across the country, who are mobilized, organized and galvanized to take action now on climate change.
In the end, Senate Democrats voted present, in an act of protest against the Republican move.
In the Middle East, Gaza returned to a kind of calm after 24 hours of Israeli-Hamas fighting subsided. This morning, Israeli tanks remained at the Gaza border, as police returned to the streets there. In Southern Israel, schools remained closed. A Sunday rocket attack on Israel touched off the fighting.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined today to block a new federal ban on so-called bump stocks. The attachments let a semiautomatic weapon fire like a machine gun. In 2017, a gunman in Las Vegas used one to kill 58 people. The ban took effect today, as Chief Justice John Roberts declined a request by gun rights groups to intervene.
And on Wall Street, stocks rallied after recent losses. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 141 points to close at 25657. The Nasdaq rose 54 points, and the S&P 500 added 20.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": the state of investigations into the president now that Robert Mueller has finished his work; the Supreme Court hears arguments on electoral maps; medical advances in the fight against tuberculosis; and much more.
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