Washington, March 15 (IANS) The US Senate has voted 59-41 in favour of blocking President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.
The move, coupled with a vote by the House of Representatives, dealt a blow to Trump’s bid to build a border wall and is expected to force Trump to exercise veto powers for the first time since becoming US President, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.
This is also the first time US Congress acted against a national emergency declaration since the National Emergencies Act was enacted in 1976.
“VETO!” Trump tweeted shortly after the vote on Thursday. He told a press event earlier Thursday that he did not expect his veto to be overturned.
In Thursday’s vote, 12 Republican Senators broke rank and voted alongside Democrats to show defiance to Trump’s emergency declaration, revealing a deep divide among GOP lawmakers on the issue.
To override Trump’s veto, both chambers of the Congress need two thirds of the votes. It is unclear if Trump’s opponents will garner enough votes.
The US House of Representatives voted 245-182 in late February to block the national emergency declared by Trump on February 15.