WASHINGTON (NY Times) — President Trump issued his second veto against legislation seeking to end his national emergency at the southwestern border, rejecting bipartisan objections to his efforts to obtain funds for a border wall.
His move, announced late Tuesday night, was expected and will return the resolution to Congress. It is unlikely to garner the two-thirds majority needed there to override the veto.
The announcement comes exactly seven months after Trump issued the first veto of his presidency against a nearly identical resolution that would have terminated the national emergency. He declared the emergency earlier this year after Congress declined to designate money for his border wall; he has sought to allocate funds from other government agencies to the southwestern border.
Trump, announcing the veto, noted that he had vetoed the earlier measure "because it was a dangerous resolution that would undermine United States sovereignty and threaten the lives and safety of countless Americans.”
He added, "It is similarly my duty, in order to protect the safety and security of our nation, to return S.J. Res. 54 to the Senate without my approval.”
Lawmakers can force votes on the issue every six months. Democrats have seized upon the tactic as a way to corner vulnerable Republicans into defending either the president’s national security policies or Congress’s constitutional responsibility to dictate government spending.
But Trump, in his veto message, argued that the national emergency had "empowered my administration’s governmentwide strategy to counter large-scale unlawful migration” and said that a national emergency was still warranted at the border.
Eleven Republicans in each chamber joined Democrats last month in rejecting the national emergency declaration, short of a veto-proof majority. When Senate Democrats forced the vote in September, the debate was heightened by details of what specific military projects the Pentagon would delay in order to allocate $3.6 billion to the border wall.
The veto comes as lawmakers are struggling to resolve a debate over funding both Trump’s border wall and other elements of his hardline immigration policy before the government runs out of money on Nov. 21.