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Trump issues first veto of his presidency, continuing border 'emergency'

15 March 2019

Flanked by law enforcement officials and the parents of children killed by people in the country illegally, Trump maintained that he is not through fighting for his signature campaign promise, which stands largely unfulfilled 18 months before voters decide whether to grant him another term.

The White House sought to pare back Republican defections leading up to the vote, with the President and White House aides making clear to Republican senators that a vote against Trump on this issue would have ramifications come re-election time.

As the USA and the European Union struggle to iron out their differences on trade, Trump said, "they are willing to talk to us and if they don't talk to us, we're going to do something that's going to be pretty severe economically".

"Yesterday, Congress passed a risky resolution that if signed into law, would put countless Americans in danger".

Mr Trump repeated his claims that illegal immigrants from the southern border were mostly criminals, bringing drugs into the country.

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

The Senate passed its resolution 59-41, with 12 Republicans including Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio voting for it, prompting a one-word Trump tweet in response.

"I'm very proud to veto it", he added.

Twelve of Trump's fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the measure to end the emergency declaration.

How did we get here?

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On 15 February Trump invoked the National Emergencies Act of 1976, claiming there was a crisis on the border that required the construction of walls to protect the United States. By doing so, he opened up access to billions in military funds that do not require approval from lawmakers.

However, Democrats and a number of Republicans said his effort represented an unconstitutional expansion of the power of the presidency.

Following the veto, the resolution will return to the House.

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.

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Trump issues first veto of his presidency, continuing border 'emergency'