President Donald Trump issued his first veto Friday, rejecting Congress’s effort to cancel his declaration of a national emergency to pay for a wall on the US-Mexico border, a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign.
“Congress passed a dangerous resolution that, if signed into law, would put countless Americans in danger,” Trump said just before signing the veto in the Oval Office.
Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William P. Barr and Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, were also present in the Oval Office.
On February 15, Trump had declared a national emergency to bypass congressional approval and secure funding for the construction of his wall along US-Mexico border.
However less than two weeks after the declaration, lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted to revoke it despite veto threats by the White House.
The legislation (signed veto) will now be sent back to Congress, which most likely does not have enough votes for an override, meaning Trump’s declaration will remain in effect.
“On March 26, the House will once again act to protect our Constitution and our democracy from the president’s emergency declaration by holding a vote to override his veto,” said Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives Speaker in response to Trump’s action.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said in a statement following the veto. “There is no emergency; Congress has refused to fund his wall multiple times; Mexico won’t pay for it; and a bipartisan majority in both chambers just voted to terminate his fake emergency.”