*WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump suffered an embarrassing defeat Thursday at the hands of US senators, including fellow Republicans, who voted to terminate his declaration of an emergency on the border with Mexico.*
Trump’s response was swift and unequivocal: “VETO!” he tweeted after a dozen Republicans joined Democrats in voting down the emergency, declared as a way to secure alternative funding for the border wall denied to him by Congress.
Opponents had argued that Trump’s emergency amounted to executive overreach, saying a vote to curtail his authority would preserve the constitutionally mandated separation of powers in Washington.
Half a dozen Republicans had already spoken out publicly against the February declaration. But on the morning of the vote, the simmering revolt grew to 12 Republicans, and the final tally was a resounding 59 to 41.
Trump had made clear he planned to use his veto powers to override any congressional block, after failing to strong-arm enough Republicans into line.
“I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country,” he tweeted, following up on his initial one-word response.
“I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!”
Unless there is a substantial weakening of support for Trump among congressional Republicans on the issue, the first veto of his presidency is expected to stand.
The Senate and House of Representatives would each need a two-thirds majority to override a block by the White House, and both parties say the numbers are not likely there.
“It won’t be overturned and the legal scholars say it’s totally constitutional,” Trump told reporters of his emergency. - APP/AFP