Trump wields first presidential veto to nix border emergency rebuff

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

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

President Donald Trump on Friday vetoed a measure to terminate his emergency declaration to fund a border wall, striking back at Republican and Democratic lawmakers who opposed the controversial move with the first veto of his presidency.

Law enforcement officials and angel families were present as the president signed the veto.

In the Oval Office at the White House on Friday afternoon, Trump said "our immigration system is stretched beyond the breaking point" and called the congressional action "dangerous" and "reckless".

We will add video when it becomes available.

Trump told the TV cameras his veto will "restore national sovereignty and defend this nation from criminal cartels, human traffickers, and drug smugglers - crime of all kind coming through our southern borders and other places, but this is the place".

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A dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats in approving the joint resolution on Thursday, which capped a week of confrontation with the White House as both parties in Congress strained to exert their power in new ways.

The Republican senators who rebuked Trump were unwavering in their justification, saying Thursday they viewed the unilateral move as unconstitutional and creating a risky precedent for future presidents.

"I'd like to thank all of the Great Republican Senators who bravely voted for Strong Border Security and the WALL", Trump tweeted ahead of his veto action. Against the advice of GOP leaders, Trump invoked the national emergency declaration last month, allowing him to try to tap about $3.6 billion for the wall by shuffling money from military projects, and that drew outrage from many lawmakers.

"We're bursting at the seams, we can only hold so much", he said. The fate of Trump's emergency declaration will be left up to the courts, where various legal battles are ongoing.

"I think the basic premise of Mike [Lee's] bill is correct", Republican Senator Jerry Moran said Thursday. "They want to eliminate some of the barriers that are already there".

Barr also made remarks and said President Trump's emergency declaration on the issue is "firmly grounded" in the law.

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