Trump’s veto on Friday struck back at Republican and Democratic lawmakers who opposed his controversial move.
The president’s veto, signed in front of reporters in the Oval Office, is his first since he took office in 2016. He described the resolution as “dangerous” and “reckless.”
“Today I am vetoing this resolution,” Trump told reporters. “Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it.”
Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William P. Barr and Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, were also present in the Oval Office.
Barr said the president’s emergency order was “clearly authorized under the law” and “solidly grounded in law.”
Now, the legislation will be sent back to Congress, which most likely does not have enough votes for an override, meaning Trump’s declaration will remain in effect.
However, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that, “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.”
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., 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.”
On February 15, Trump declared a national emergency to bypass congressional approval and secure funding for the construction of his wall along US-Mexico border.
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 Democratic-controlled chamber blocked the declaration by a margin of 245-182, however, falling short of overriding the possibility of a presidential veto.
On Thursday, the Republican-controlled Senate also passed a proposal to terminate the declaration, with fifty-nine Senators, including a dozen Republicans, voting in favor of the resolution of disapproval and 41 others voting against it.
Trump triggered the longest government shutdown in US history with his December demand for $5.7 billion in wall money.