President Trump flexed his veto for the first time in his administration Friday, rejecting Congress’s attempt to end his border emergency declaration and halt border wall construction.
Surrounded by “angel moms” who have lost children to illegal immigrant violence, Mr. Trump called the attempt to stop wall construction “reckless” and “dangerous.”
“Today I am vetoing this resolution. Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it,” he said. “I’m very proud to veto it.”
He was moving with striking speed, rejecting the legislation just a day after it cleared the Senate on a 59-41 vote. It had previously cleared the House 245-182.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her chamber will attempt an override on March 26, after Congress returns from a spring break.
But GOP leaders said there’s more than enough support to sustain the president.
In a written veto message Mr. Trump described the dire border situation he said spurred him last month to declare an emergency and to claim $3.6 billion in Pentagon construction money to be used for wall-building.
He said one in three migrant women are sexually abused on the trip to the U.S., 57 migrants each day require immediate medical attention once they reach American soil, and drugs and criminals are traversing the border every day.
“This situation on our border cannot be described as anything other than a national emergency, and our Armed Forces are needed to help confront it,” he wrote.