President Trump issued the first veto of his presidency, striking down a resolution that would have terminated his national emergency declaration diverting funding to build the wall.
The Senate voted Thursday by a margin of 59 to 41 to block Trump’s declaration that an emergency on the border with Mexico requires the construction of a wall, a project for which Congress has not appropriated money. A dozen Republicans defected and joined every Democrat in voting yes. The House previously passed the resolution last month, 245 (including 13 Republicans) to 182. Unless more Republicans defect from the president’s position, neither margin would be sufficient to override a veto.
“Today I am vetoing this resolution,” said Trump. “Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it and I’m very proud to veto it.”
Trump’s reelection campaign began fundraising off the veto early Friday afternoon, sending out an email asking supporters to donate to an “Official Wall Defense Fund.”
Trump had sought to frame the issue as voting for him or for “Nancy Pelosi, Crime and the Open Border Democrats.” The dozen senators who went against the White House were Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio, Marco Rubio of Florida, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, both of Utah.
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