President Trump vetoes bill blocking his emergency declaration
Trump signed the veto at the White House one day after the U.S. Senate voted to block his emergency declaration. Trump vowed to veto the bill immediately after the Senate vote.
"We're building a lot of wall right now," Trump told "angel moms" who surrounded him after signing the veto, signalling he is moving ahead with the plan to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico using money he had tapped with the emergency declaration.
In a prepared remark made just prior to the signing, Trump said the Congress decision was "dangerous" and "would put countless Americans in danger."
"To defend the safety and security of all Americans, I will be signing and issuing a formal veto of this reckless resolution," Trump said.
Secretary of Justice William Barr and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen flanked Trump during the signing ceremony. Both supported the proposition that the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border mounted to a crisis.
Lindsey Graham, a Republican lawmaker who voted against blocking the emergency declaration, voiced support for the veto, saying Trump is right "to declare an emergency on our southern border and he's right on the law allowing him to reallocate funds to secure our southern border."
Trump's veto sends the bill back to the U.S. Congress, where the House of Representatives is expected to take it up again in the coming weeks.
"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," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement after the signing ceremony.
"House Republicans will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the constitution," Pelosi said.
It is expected that the chamber will come up short of the 290 votes needed to override the veto. In a late February vote, the House of Representatives voted 245-182 to block the emergency declaration, 45 votes short of the threshold.
The veto came two months after Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives and the political battle between the White House and the Democratic Party has shown signs of escalation. In the likely scenario where relationship between the White House and the U.S. Congress further deteriorates in the remaining time of Trump's presidency, more vetoes are expected when Congress rebukes Trump on other controversial issues. ■