Donald Trump has issued his first legislative veto since taking office, overruling Congress to protect his declaration of a national emergency to secure funds for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. "Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it".
Indeed, Trump had telegraphed his plan to proceed with additional wall spending on Thursday, minutes after the Senate voted 59-41 to block it.
While Democrats control the House, they would need a total of 67 votes in the Senate to override Mr Trump's veto. "I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!"
Twelve Republican senators banded together to deliver the forceful rebuke after expressing concerns that Trump's use of the national emergency declaration as an end-run around Congress violates the separation of powers and sets a bad precedent that a would-be future Democratic president could follow to unilaterally drive their agenda. "This will help stop Crime, Human Trafficking, and Drugs entering our Country", the president tweeted. Democrats and some Republicans challenged the declaration as a blow to the separation of powers.
When a deal to prevent another shutdown did not give him the funding he requested, Trump declared a national emergency, redirecting funds that were allocated for other projects to build the barrier instead.
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The president made a border wall a central promise of his 2016 campaign for the White House.
He called the resolution "dangerous" and "reckless", defending the emergency declaration and saying, "People hate the word invasion, but that's what it is".
Trump also has maintained he has the legal authority to act. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on border security in the Oval Office of the White House March 15, 2019 in Washington, DC.