UPDATE – Trump vetoes national emergency resolution


By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday, overturning a congressional effort to repeal the national emergency he declared to build his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is expected to reconsider the resolution March 26, but it is unlikely to secure the two-thirds majority to override Trump's veto.

The same holds true for the Senate, where just 59 lawmakers in the 100-member chamber voted for the resolution Thursday. In all 12 Republicans backed the Senate vote, largely over concerns about the executive order's constitutionality, despite concerted White House efforts for Republicans to uniformly oppose the resolution.

"Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it. And I'm very proud to veto it," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office after vowing it would not clear his desk.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on House Republicans to vote for the resolution later this month, saying they "will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution.”

Trump moved to build his long-promised border wall through an executive order last month after he failed to get the $5.7 billion he was seeking from Congress for the barrier's construction, having shut down Congress for the longest stretch in history over his demand.

Opponents of Trump's executive order have warned it sets a dangerous precedent and violates the Constitution's delegation of funding powers to the legislative branch.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, ripped Trump's action in a statement saying "it is no surprise that the president holds the rule of law and our Constitution in minimal regard."

"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," Schumer said.

Thursday's vote was the first time Congress moved to overturn a president's executive order.

Additional legal challenges to override the order are expected, including from Democrats, legal groups and property owners whose land Trump needs to build the wall.