Trump issues first veto after rebuke of border order

April FrancisMar 16, 2019

"Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution", Trump said, "and I have the duty to veto it". "To defend the safety and security of all Americans, I will be signing and issuing a formal veto of this reckless resolution". Trump was surrounded in the Oval Office by supporters who offered profuse thanks and frequent applause.

He hit his usual (exaggerated) talking points on the drugs and criminals pouring over the border and said that Democrats and Republicans could come to an accord on "catch and release" laws in "15 minutes" if the political will was there. Attorney General William Barr is also at the President's veto event. But for those who broke from party ranks to vote for the termination resolution, the president said they were "doing what they have to do", adding that he did not pressure them for their vote.

It is not believed there are enough votes to override the president's veto, which would require a two-thirds majority in both chambers.

"People hate the word invasion, but that's what it is".

Mr Trump had declared the emergency in February after Congress refused his requests for $5.7bn (£4.4bn) to construct a border wall - a campaign promise.

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

Trump has said he wants a wall to prevent immigrants from crossing into the United States, describing the situation as a national emergency.

"The president acted well within his discretion in declaring a national emergency concerning the southern border", the Justice Department argues in the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Washington Post. Ahead of the voting, Trump framed the issue as with-him-or-against-him on border security, a powerful argument with many. John Barrasso, who voted against the resolution, said Friday.

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

Trump's national emergency declaration almost a month ago is paired with a number of executive actions created to make approximately $8 billion of funding available to begin construction on a wall along the southern border. The dozen senators who went against the White House were Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio, Marco Rubio of Florida, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Roger Wicker of MS and Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, both of Utah. The emergency declaration allows the president to redirect funds from other accounts such as military construction to the Southern border wall.

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