Trump vetoes congressional effort to limit border wall funding

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"Today I am vetoing this resolution", Trump said, flanked by law enforcement officials at an Oval Office event.

US President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency today (NZ time) to secure federal money for a border wall he promised as a candidate and considers a crucial priority for re-election, capping a week of confrontation with both political parties.

But Friday, Trump said he had sympathy for Republicans who voted against him and emphasized that he never truly twisted the arms of lawmakers, because he knew there were not enough votes to override the veto.

The president had threatened a veto of the resolution. "Watch, when you get back to your State, they will LOVE you more than ever before!"

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Trump expressed pride in the Republicans who did not vote to support the resolution and said later that he had sympathy for those who defied him, adding they did what they had to do.

The bipartisan vote in the Senate on Thursday approving the measure was a slap at Trump over his decision to circumvent Congress and take money already designated for other programs to pay for a barrier along the U.S. -Mexico border.

"We tried to cut a deal", Lee said.

After Trump signed the expected veto, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the body planned to vote for a veto on March 26 on overriding Trump's move.

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Trump originally declared a national emergency on the border last month after Congress granted only a fraction of the $5.7 billion he requested for a wall on the border.

Recent months have seen a surge in unauthorized crossings of the US border with Mexico.

A Justice Department letter to congressional leaders details the arguments defending the Trump's emergency declaration, arguing that the president was authorized to do so by the National Emergencies Act of 1976.

The border wall project still faces a variety of legal challenges, and despite Trump's veto, House and Senate votes against the emergency declaration could carry some weight in the courts. Democrats deny there is an emergency at the border, saying border crossings are at a four-decade low. He explained the legality of Donald Trump's countermeasure.

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On Friday, Barr also said the president's emergency order was "clearly authorized under the law".

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