U.S. President Donald Trump vetoed on Tuesday, for the second time this year, a congressional resolution against the national emergency decreed by the president in February in order to divert funds for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico.
In a message sent to Congress late Tuesday, Trump announced his decision to halt a joint Senate and House resolution passed in September because it “would affect the country’s ability to keep its borders secure”.
“The situation on our southern border is still a national emergency, and we still need our Armed Forces to help us deal with it,” Trump said.
Last March, the president issued the first veto of his presidency in response to another similar resolution by both houses of Congress, which also responded to his decision to declare a “national emergency” to finance his controversial wall.
The emergency declaration allows U.S. presidents temporary access to a special power to deal with a crisis, and in this case Trump has invoked it to allocate to the wall the funds that Congress approved for other items.
Overturning Trump’s veto would require a two-thirds majority in both houses, unlikely given that only 54 of the 100 members of the Senate voted in favor of the joint resolution, and 236 of the 435 members of the House of Representatives did likewise.
Trump justified his emergency declaration by an alleged “invasion” of drugs and criminals on the border with Mexico.
With this decree, the governor intended to collect 6.6 billion dollars diverted from various items already approved by Congress, which would be added to another 1.375 granted by the legislature to build the border barrier.
His emergency declaration came after a political crisis stemming from Trump’s insistence that Congress grant him $5.7 billion in funds to build the wall, one of his star promises in the election campaign.
When Congress refused, there was a confrontation between legislators and the White House that led to a partial closure of the Administration between December and January, a pothole that ended when the president accepted $1.37 billion for border protection.