Trump vetoes legislation to strike down his emergency declaration for border wall

Mar 16, 2019, 00:55
Trump vetoes legislation to strike down his emergency declaration for border wall

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

Trump's reelection campaign began fundraising off the veto early Friday afternoon, sending out an email asking supporters to donate to an "Official Wall Defense Fund".

The veto would be the first of Donald Trump's presidency.

Despite the embarrassing defections, Trump's grip on the party remains strong and the White House made it clear that Republicans resisting Trump could face political consequences.

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Republican senators who bucked the president said they did so to preserve congressional control over the government's purse strings.

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

Trump also has maintained he has the legal authority to act.

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

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In declaring an emergency on February 15, Trump cited drug smuggling across the border from Mexico (misleading), the drop in crime in El Paso, Texas, after a partial border barricade was built there (not true) and reports of women kidnapped, bound with tape and trafficked into the United States across unguarded sections of the border (no evidence exists of this).

Thursday's vote was the first direct challenge to the 1976 National Emergencies Act, just as a Wednesday vote on Yemen was the first time Congress invoked the decades-old War Powers Act to try to rein in a president. John Barrasso, who voted against the resolution, said Friday. "That shift has placed a substantial strain on border-security resources". The House previously passed the resolution last month, 245 (including 13 Republicans) to 182.

They included Sens. Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey, Roy Blunt, Lamar Alexander, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Jerry Moran, Mike Lee, and Roger Wicker.

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.

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The declaration of an emergency allowed the administration to access over $6bn in additional funds not appropriated by Congress to build the wall.