March 19, 2019

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

15 March 2019, 10:37 | Devin Moran

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Earlier today, President Trump thanked Republicans who voted against the measure.

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.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2019.

Trump rejected entreaties from several Senate Republicans to agree to a compromise that would curtail his national emergency powers and instead framed the vote not as a matter of constitutional concerns, but rather as a litmus test on border security.

The bill passed the Senate by a margin of 59-41 with 12 Republicans joining Senate Democrats in a rare rebuke of the president.

Trump is expected to issue his second veto in the coming weeks over a congressional resolution seeking to end USA backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen. "Watch, when you get back to your State, they will LOVE you more than ever before!"

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. The emergency declaration allows the president to redirect funds from other accounts such as military construction to the Southern border wall.

"We had a war against a king in the American revolution", said Sen.

It is unlikely that Congress will have the two-thirds majority required to override Trump's veto. In a statement, Republican senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said: "Never before has a president asked for funding, Congress has not provided it, and the president then has used the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to spend the money anyway".

Alexander added that he shares the president's goal of border security, but warned allowing Trump to redirect money without authorization could set a risky precedent.

Trump insists he's on solid legal ground, however.

On Friday, Attorney General William Barr also said his emergency order was "clearly authorized under the law".

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