VETO: Trump Upholds National Emergency At Southern Border

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President Trump used his veto power for the first time Friday to overturn a congressional resolution that would have blocked him from using defense funds to build the border wall with Mexico.

"I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspires Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country", Trump tweeted shortly after the Senate passed the resolution condemning Trump's unilateral action. "To defend the safety and security of all Americans, I will be signing and issuing a formal veto of this reckless resolution".

Trump made the construction of a wall along the nearly 2,000-mile-long US-Mexico border a cornerstone of his 2016 presidential campaign, saying Mexico would pay for it.

Most Republicans who defected did so as a protest vote over the president's methods and their fear about the precedent of executive overreach rather than the underlying debate over whether a border wall is necessary.

Republican senators who bucked the president said they did so to preserve congressional control over the government's purse strings.

Mr Trump had declared the emergency in February after Congress refused his requests for $5.7bn (£4.4bn) to construct a border wall - a campaign promise.

While the original passage marked a stinging rebuke from members of Trump's own party, his veto is likely the last word as lawmakers are unlikely to muster the two-thirds majority required to override. He explained the legality of Donald Trump's countermeasure.

Senate Republicans have shown support for amending the National Emergencies Act in an attempt to curtail the power of future emergency declarations. John Barrasso, who voted against the resolution, said Friday. "To me, border security is national security".

They included Sens. Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey, Roy Blunt, Lamar Alexander, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Jerry Moran, Mike Lee, and Roger Wicker. The resolution had previously passed the Democrat-controlled House. The emergency declaration allows the president to redirect funds from other accounts such as military construction to the Southern border wall.