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Trump vows to use veto if Senate strikes down border emergency

US President Donald Trump is mulling a deal reached in Congress to resolve the long-running row over funding for US-Mexico border wall construction
Nicholas Kamm (AFP/File)
Emergency declaration gives Trump access to billions of dollars to construct Mexico border wall

US President Donald Trump said Thursday that he was ready to use his veto power to uphold his declaration of a national emergency on the southern border if the Senate votes to strike down the measure on Thursday.

After being struck down by a comfortable margin in the Democrat-held House, the Republican-held Senate is set to vote on the emergency declaration, issued by Trump on February 15 after he failed to secure billions of dollars from Congress for funding for a Mexican border wall.

“A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction). I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!

If the emergency declaration is upheld, it would allow Trump to find funding for the Mexican border wall -- his signature campaign promise -- from other sources, notably the Pentagon budget for military construction projects.

Democrats have denounced the emergency declaration as a power grab by the president and a violation of the Constitution because it usurps the power of Congress to decide government spending.

The national emergency declaration gives him access to billions of dollars to construct the border wall beyond the nearly $1.4 billion allocated by Congress.

Four Republicans would need to break ranks for the measure to pass the Senate but neither chamber is likely to be able to muster the two-thirds majority needed to override an expected presidential veto.

Should the measure clear both the House and the Senate and reach his desk, Trump would be faced with a stinging rebuke and cornered into issuing the first veto of his presidency.


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