Trump’s Veto: A National Emergency?

On Friday, Donald Trump vetoed Congress’ vote to reverse his declaration of a national state of emergency. After the House refused to authorize Trump’s full request for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump declared a national emergency in order to take funds from sources such as military construction monies to build the wall. Now, though Trump has been denied twice via the voting process, he will use his veto power to get what he wants.

“Today I am vetoing this resolution,” Trump said. “Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it.”

Almost immediately after the Senate, including 12 GOP senators, voted 59-41 against Trump’s emergency declaration, Trump proclaimed that he would proceed anyway.

“I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country,” Tweeted Trump.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn), though he supports increased border security, remarked, “We had a war against a king in the American revolution…This would be the first time that a president has ever asked for a certain amount of money from Congress, Congress has refused to provide it, and then the president has declared a national emergency under the 1976 act and said, ‘I’m going to spend the money anyway.'”

Trump’s insistence that a border wall would be instrumental in keeping criminals from coming into the U.S. is unsupported by statistics. According to PRI, of the 362,000 who were apprehended by Border Patrol officers in FY18, less than 1 percent had convictions for violence, firearms, or sexual offenses. On the other hand, one in 12 American adults has been convicted of a felony.

As for preventing drug trafficking, though most of the heroin in the U.S. does come from Mexico, according to a 2018 report from the Drug Enforcement Agency, it does not just come into the U.S. via illegal border crossings. Much of it comes by way of legal crossings – not only by vehicle at legal points of entry, but through airports and even on ships.

And, says Elaine Carey, dean of the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences at Purdue University, “A wall’s not going to do anything unless you deal with the demand.”

Congress is not expected to have enough votes to override Trump’s veto. Still, the number of votes against Trump’s emergency declaration in both the House and Senate could carry some weight when the issue goes to court, which it almost certainly will. Trump, however, insists that his veto will hold up under legal challenges.

Trump signs first veto of his presidency | Full Remarks | Fox News [2019-03-15]

Trump uses veto power to kill bill that would block his border wall emergency | CBS This Morning [2019-03-16]

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