WASHINGTON — Issuing the first veto of his presidency, Donald Trump overturned a resolution Friday that would have terminated the national emergency declaration aimed at building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“It is definitely a national emergency,” Trump said during a ceremony in the Oval Office. “Rarely have we had such a national emergency.”
A bipartisan collection of lawmakers have questioned the constitutionality of the declaration, which would construct a barrier along the border without Congressional approval.
The Senate approved the resolution on Thursday in a 59-41 vote. All 47 Democrats voted yes as did 12 Republicans.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved the resolution last month in a 245-182 vote. All Democrats voted yes as did 13 Republicans.
Trump brushed off the rare rebuke in the Republican-controlled upper chamber, saying that the dozen members of his party who opposed it were “doing what they have to do.”
Both chambers must vote by a 2/3 majority in order to override the president’s veto, a scenario that appears unlikely considering Congress’ current makeup.