WASHINGTON – President Trump on Friday issued his first veto of his presidency, rejecting legislation that opposed his national emergency declaration to finance a wall along the southern border. The bill blocking Trump's emergency declaration had attracted significant Republican support for Congress.
"I'm vetoing this resolution today," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "Congress has the freedom to approve this resolution and I have a duty to veto it." The president called the resolution "dangerous" and "reckless".
The president's veto, which was expected, will postpone legislation to Congress, which most likely does not have enough votes for an override, which means that Mr. Trump's statement will remain in effect.
The president has long insisted that there is a humanitarian and security crisis on the Mexican border, an assertion that was undercut by Trump himself when he acknowledged that he could wait to release his statement.
The Democrats took these words and cited government data showing that there was no wave of criminal migrants entering the country. Some Republicans shared this opinion.
Others said that they opposed the president on the grounds that it was the duty of Congress to appropriate taxpayer dollars and that Mr. Trump had exceeded his authority. On Thursday a dozen Republicans joined Democratic senators to vote to overthrow President Trump's emergency declaration, in a vote from 59 to 41.
"Never before has a president asked for funding , Congress did not provide it and the president then used the 1976 National Emergencies Act to spend the money anyway, "said Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, after Thursday's vote. Senator Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, said he thought Mr. Trump's statement was unconstitutional.
Mr. Trump had a large influence on Congress Republicans in his first two years in office. The vote of a dozen Senate Republicans lined up with the Democrats on a central issue in the president's agenda was seen as a recovery of Congress's role as an equalizing branch of government.
Not discouraged by the Republican opposition and quickly signaled his next step when he tweeted "VETO" not long after the vote. The president said that there was nothing less than an "invasion" of the United States by migrants, and added that so many of them were stopped by the fact that "he did not stay anywhere to hold all the people we are capturing ".
Even if the Congress does not pass the veto, the emergency declaration is already challenged in court.
"Even members of President Trump's party are beginning to realize that he is a single man" The constitutional crisis, "Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.
"The president's veto is as meaningless as his signature on the national emergency declaration," he added. "Congress has rejected the president's statement, and now the courts will be the ultimate arbiter of his legality. We look forward to seeing him in court and the bombardment he will receive at the hands of an independent judicial system. "