“Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it,” U.S. President Donald Trump said.
In a historic first for under his administration, U.S. President Donald Trump vetoed a Congressional measure to terminate the declaration of a national emergency in favor of protecting funding for his border wall.
“Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it,” Trump said from the Oval Office, adding that the “protection of the nation” is his “highest duty as president.”
“Yesterday, Congress passed a dangerous resolution that if signed into law would put countless Americans in danger, very grave danger,” said the U.S. state administrator.
The bipartisan vote in the Senate on Thursday approving the measure was a slap at Trump over his decision to circumvent Congress and take money already designated for other programs to pay for a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Twelve of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the measure to end the emergency declaration.
The president has said he wants a wall to prevent undocumented immigrants from crossing into the United States. Democrats deny there is an emergency at the border, saying border crossings are at a four-decade low.
The emergency declaration is being challenged in court as an unconstitutional usurpation of Congress’ power of the purse.
Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer accused the president of dismissing the constitution and the rule of law.
"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," he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a second vote will be conducted on March 26 in an effort to override Trump’s veto, although experts are doubtful of its success.
“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 Republicans will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the constitution,” Pelosi said.