President Donald Trump late Tuesday vetoed a joint resolution that would overturn his national emergency declaration regarding the southern border, which was used to help obtain border wall funding.
This is the second time Trump has issued a veto related to the same emergency declaration.
“The situation on our southern border remains a national emergency, and our Armed Forces are still needed to help confront it,” Trump wrote in his veto message to the Senate, and added that the southern border “continues to be a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics” entering the United States.
“The ongoing crisis at the southern border threatens core national security interests,” he wrote. “In addition, security challenges at the southern border exacerbate an ongoing humanitarian crisis that threatens the well-being of vulnerable populations, including women and children.”
Trump also cited trafficking and smuggling as other factors that “fuels the present humanitarian crisis.”
The Senate and the House voted in late September on S.J. Res. 54, the Democrat-sponsored bill to block the emergency declaration, with the Senate voting 54-41 and the House voting 236-174, where 11 Republicans in both the House and the Senate joined the Democrats.
In Trump’s message to the Senate, he noted that the joint resolution is “inconsistent with other recent congressional actions.”
“For example, the Congress, in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner, has provided emergency resources to address the crisis at the southern border,” Trump explained. “Additionally, the Congress has approved a budget framework that expressly preserves the emergency authorities my Administration is using to address the crisis.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office said the Senate would vote on Trump’s veto this week, reported The Hill. However, neither the House nor Senate is expected to have enough votes to override Trump’s veto.
Trump said that he is not approving S.J. Res. 54 for the same reason he had vetoed an earlier resolution on March 15—H.J. Res. 46, which also aimed to terminate Trump’s national emergency declaration.
He called H.J. Res. 46 a “dangerous resolution that would undermine United States sovereignty and threaten the lives and safety of countless Americans.”
The House had passed the resolution 245-182 on Feb. 26, where all Democrats and 13 Republicans voted in favor. The Senate then passed it by a vote of 59-41 on March 14.
Trump said on Feb. 22 that he would “100 percent” veto a resolution terminating the national emergency declaration he signed.
Trump’s national emergency declaration on Feb. 15 had enabled the transfer of $3.6 billion from the military construction budget toward wall construction without requiring congressional approval. Trump had earlier promised to use his legal national emergency powers if Congress failed to appropriate $5.7 billion for border wall construction as requested by the Department of Homeland Security.
On Feb. 14, one day before Trump declared the national emergency, Congress had appropriated just $1.4 billion toward the construction of the border wall in the Rio Grande Valley, which was far short of Trump’s request for $5.7 billion. The battle for the $1.4 billion budget stretched on from 2018 and included the longest government shutdown in American history.
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.