Trump issues first veto to protect border emergency declaration

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 15, 2019

"Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it", he said.

President Trump used his veto power for the first time Friday to overturn a congressional resolution that would have blocked him from using defense funds to build the border wall with Mexico. "I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!"

The renegade conservatives had condemned the emergency declaration for setting up a risky precedent for a president while emphasising that they still agreed with Mr Trump's tough border security policies.

The bipartisan vote in the Senate on Thursday approving the measure was a slap at Trump over his decision to circumvent Congress and take money already designated for other programs to pay for his barrier along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Trump rejected entreaties from several Senate Republicans to agree to a compromise that would curtail his national emergency powers and instead framed the vote not as a matter of constitutional concerns, but rather as a litmus test on border security. "This will help stop Crime, Human Trafficking, and Drugs entering our Country", the president tweeted.

On 15 February Trump invoked the National Emergencies Act of 1976, claiming there was a crisis on the border that required the construction of walls to protect the United States.

"The fact that this is an emergency is undeniable", Nielsen said. The measure ultimately passed 59-41, and Trump immediately vowed to veto. The large numbers have put a strain on immigration enforcement, although critics say a wall would do little to discourage the crossings since many of those apprehended at the border turn themselves in voluntarily.

While Democrats control the House, they would need a total of 67 votes in the Senate to override Mr Trump's veto.

Before issuing the veto, Trump again said there was a tremendous national emergency, while U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the action the president had taken was legal.

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