Trump issues first veto to protect border emergency declaration

Washington. Trump issued the first veto overruling Congress to protect his emergency declaration for border wall funding. (AP

President Donald Trump has issued the first veto of his presidency, overruling Congress to protect his emergency declaration for border wall funding.

Trump's veto came a day after 12 Senate Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the resolution, despite last-minute efforts between the White House and GOP lawmakers to keep the Republican Party united.

Mr Trump said that, since 1976, a total of 56 national emergencies have been declared but Congress has not vetoed any of them.

Indeed, Trump had telegraphed his plan to proceed with additional wall spending on Thursday, minutes after the Senate voted 59-41 to block it.

Trump's reelection campaign began fundraising off the veto early Friday afternoon, sending out an email asking supporters to donate to a "Official Wall Defense Fund". The resolution had previously passed the Democrat-controlled House. "I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!" The veto will likely put the matter to rest as neither chamber of Congress appears to have the necessary two-thirds majority to overturn Trump's veto.

Trump's national emergency declaration almost a month ago is paired with a number of executive actions created to make approximately $8 billion of funding available to begin construction on a wall along the southern border.

He said the vote against the president was also a vote "against the America people and their safety and security". The dozen senators who went against the White House were Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio, Marco Rubio of Florida, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Roger Wicker of MS, and Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, both of Utah.

"We're bursting at the seams, we can only hold so much", he said.

President Trump will deliver remarks in the Oval Office at 3:30 p.m. ET, White House says.

US President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency today (NZ time) to secure federal money for a border wall he promised as a candidate and considers a crucial priority for re-election, capping a week of confrontation with both political parties. "This will help stop Crime, Human Trafficking, and Drugs entering our Country", the president tweeted.

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