Donald Trump signed the first veto of his presidency on Friday, overriding congressional opposition to secure emergency funds to build more walls on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mr. Trump declared in the Oval Office that he was “proud” to sign the veto. It came after he suffered an embarrassing defeat on Thursday when Senators, including fellow Republicans, voted to terminate his declaration of an emergency on the Mexican border.
Surrounded by law enforcement officials, senior aides and people who have lost loved ones to cross-border crime, Mr. Trump said the veto reaffirming his power to get the funds without Congress was to “defend the safety of all Americans”.
Opponents, who accuse Mr. Trump of executive overreach and overhyping the problem on the border, could now use court challenges to halt the emergency measure.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, called Mr. Trump’s action a “lawless power grab”. “The President has chosen to continue to defy the Constitution, the Congress and the will of the American people,” she said in a statement.
An attempt to override the veto will be held on March 26, she announced. However, this is very unlikely to pass as a two-thirds majority is required.