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Trump Issues First Veto, Overturning Congress' Rejection of His Emergency Border Declaration

03-15-2019
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President Donald Trump announces a national emergency declaration from the White House. (AP Photo)

President Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday afternoon, overturning Congress' rejection of his national emergency border declaration.

Trump promised to make the move after Senate Republicans joined Democrats Thursday to take a stand against his declaration regarding the southern border.

"I'll veto it. I'll do a veto," Trump had promised even before the Senate vote, dismissing its effect. "It doesn't matter."

The Senate had voted 59-41 to reject Trump's declaration after an unsuccessful compromise attempt that would have affected presidential power in future administrations.

Trump still lobbied Congress via Twitter beforehand, hoping to avoid the embarrassing rejection from his own party in the Senate: "A vote for today's resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!"

Not all Republicans share that view. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said, "For me this is a constitutional question. This is not about the president or border security."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent the measure against the president to his desk, even without the necessary votes to overturn his veto. Pelosi described Trump's border order as an "unconstitutional measure that does violence on the Constitution."

As the battle over whether it's an emergency rages on, the White House released a video from Customs and Border Patrol showing 247 illegal immigrants crossing into the United States at the beginning of the year.

Adding to those optics, the White House sent Vice President Mike Pence to see US Customs and Border Protection in action this week.

"With the crisis we face on our southern border, we are particularly grateful for Customs and Border Protection," Pence said.

Joining Pence, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen released new numbers that border arrests spiked to 75,000 last month alone. That's up 80 percent over last February.

Pence said, "Very dangerous work at our southern border at a time when we are seeing an unprecedented influx of people being driven by human traffickers, drug cartels."

The president's veto is sure to spark a new battle in the country's court system. For now, though, the president is prepared to take any embarrassment that comes from overturning a bipartisan rebuke in order to make good on a long-promised wall.

 

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