Trump issues first veto to protect border emergency declaration

Clay Curtis
March 15, 2019

President Donald Trump on Friday vetoed a measure to terminate his emergency declaration over a border wall, striking back at Republican and Democratic lawmakers who opposed the controversial move with the first veto of his presidency.

Trump's veto sends the resolution back to the US House of Representatives, which is expected to pick it up after the week-long congressional recess.

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.

The border wall project still faces a variety of legal challenges, and despite Trump's veto, House and Senate votes against the emergency declaration could carry some weight in the courts. The resolution had previously passed the Democrat-controlled House.

Trump originally declared a national emergency on the border last month after Congress granted only a fraction of the $5.7 billion he requested for a wall on the border.

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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).

"This is a constitutional question, it's a question of the balance of power that is core to our constitution", Sen. 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. Twelve Senate Republicans sided with Democrats on the issue.

Lee, meanwhile, had introduced a bill that would end future emergency declarations after 30 days, in an effort to allow Republicans to vote against the resolution.

"I'd like to thank all of the Great Republican Senators who bravely voted for Strong Border Security and the WALL". But after Trump said he opposed that legislation, Lee eventually backed the measure to rebuff Trump.

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