Trump signs first veto after congressional rebuke

Madison Mooney, The Carroll News

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President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency on March 15,  rejecting efforts made by Congress to block the national emergency declaration Trump made to secure funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. By issuing a veto, Trump demonstrated that he is still fighting to fulfill his main campaign promise to his base by building a wall along the southwestern border.

In the Oval Office, Trump told reporters, “Today, I am vetoing this resolution. … Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it.”

Surrounding Trump in his veto announcement were the parents of children killed by individuals in the U.S. illegally, law enforcement and other supporters, all of whom supported the veto with exuberant appreciation.

This issue will now move back to Congress, where it is unlikely they will have the two-thirds majority necessary to override Trump’s veto. Nonetheless, House Democrats have announced they will attempt to override the veto on March 26.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, opposing Trump’s decision to veto, said that Trump “has chosen to continue to defy the Constitution, the Congress and the will of the American people.”

Notably, the resolution that Congress passed showed a fair amount of Republican support, marking a growing withdrawal from partisan solidarity, according to The Associated Press. Many said that this action was an attempt to protect against future presidents utilizing their power to declare emergencies on other controversial issues such as climate change or gun control, and not exactly a rejection of our current president.

Regarding the 12 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s emergency declaration, Trump stated, “Look, they were doing what they have to do,” adding that he “put no pressure” on lawmakers because he knew that his veto would not have enough support in Congress to be overridden.

Trump intends to use the emergency order to fund his wall by taking billions of federal dollars intended for defense spending and, instead, putting that money towards constructing the U.S.-Mexico border wall. However, even if Congress cannot override the veto, Trump’s emergency declaration still faces legal blowback from environmental groups and Democratic state attorneys who believe that Trump’s actions are unconstitutional.

Anthony Romero, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that filed one of the legal challenges to Trump’s action, stated, “Congress has rejected the president’s declaration, and now the courts will be the ultimate arbiter of its legality. We look forward to seeing him in court and to the shellacking that he will receive at the hands of an independent judiciary.”

However, even with all of these legal challenges, Trump refuses to back down from fulfilling his signature campaign promise before his term as president ends. He continues to insist that the U.S.-Mexico border situation is currently “a tremendous national emergency.” Furthermore, Trump voices his dissatisfaction with the current U.S. immigration system, noting it is “stretched beyond the breaking point.”

Editor’s Note: Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.