Trump vetoes congressional effort to limit border wall funding

Geraldine Edwards
March 16, 2019

President Donald Trump has vetoed a measure from Congress that revoked his declaration of a national emergency at the US-Mexico border.

The bill had passed the House in February with thirteen congressional Republicans crossing the aisle to join Democrats.

"Today I am vetoing this resolution", Trump said, flanked by law enforcement officials at an Oval Office event.

"Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it", he said, calling it a "Democrat-sponsored resolution".

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People hate the word "invasion", but that's what it is - it's an invasion of drugs, and criminals, and people. Angel Moms, mothers of children killed by illegal aliens, were also in attendance. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. "This would be the first time that a president has ever asked for a certain amount of money from Congress, Congress has refused to provide it, and then the president has declared a national emergency under the 1976 act and said, 'I'm going to spend the money anyway'".

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the president's emergency declaration was legal.

Congressional critics do not appear to have the votes to override Trump's veto.

Twelve Republican senators banded together Thursday 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. The president, without acknowledging that lobbying, said he had sympathy for those who defied him, adding they did what they had to do.

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And Friday afternoon Trump again thanked those GOP senators who had voted to allow his emergency declaration to go forward.

The emergency declaration is being challenged in court as an unconstitutional usurpation of Congress' power of the purse. That resolution seeking to end US backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen was approved in the aftermath of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and is expected to be the subject of Trump's second veto. Democrats deny there is an emergency at the border, saying border crossings are at a four-decade low. "I think the value of these last few weeks is to remind the Senate of our constitutional place".

Trump made a border wall a central promise of his 2016 campaign for the White House. Trump had campaigned for president promising Mexico would pay for the wall. Last year, Trump forced a government shutdown over an impasse with Congress over funding for the barrier.

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