President Trump issues first veto to Congress' bipartisan measure rebuking border emergency

Lamar Ellis
March 16, 2019

President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency on Friday to block a measure passed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress that would terminate his emergency declaration for a wall on the us border with Mexico.

Many lawmakers said the vote was not necessarily a rejection of the president or the wall, but protections against future presidents - namely a Democrat who might want to declare an emergency on climate change, gun control or any number of other issues.

Trump is expected to issue his second veto in the coming weeks over a congressional resolution seeking to end USA backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen. Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it, and I'm very proud to veto it.

He called the resolution "dangerous" and "reckless", defending the emergency declaration and saying, "People hate the word invasion, but that's what it is". Angel Moms, mothers of children killed by illegal aliens, were also in attendance.

Friday's veto ceremony fulfills Trump's pledged to thwart any effort by the Senate to block his emergency proclamation.

"The House and the Senate resoundingly rejected the President's lawless power grab, yet the President has chosen to continue to defy the Constitution, the Congress and the will of the American people", Pelosi said in a statement announcing the override.

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I'm tempted to write "Since when do congressional Republicans defy Trump?" but today would be the wrong day to make that point . Most Republicans sided with Democrats on the resolution, though they called it a waste of time.

A dozen Republicans joined with Senate Democrats on Thursday to back the joint resolution disapproving of Trump's emergency declaration.

The national emergency I declared last month was authorized by Congress under the 1976 National Emergencies Act, and there haven't been too many that are bigger [emergencies] than we have right at our own border. John Barrasso, who voted against the resolution, said Friday.

It still faces several legal challenges from Democratic state attorneys general and environmental groups who argue the emergency declaration was unconstitutional.

Just after the Senate vote, Mr Trump tweeted: "VETO!"

"I think actually a national emergency was designed for a specific goal like this, so we have a great case", Trump said.

The president made a border wall a central promise of his 2016 campaign for the White House. His signature ended a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government, which had been triggered by a showdown after Congress refused to appropriate the $5.7bn he requested to start construction at the border. He initially insisted that Mexico would pay for the wall but it has declined to do so.

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