President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency on Friday to block a measure passed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress that would terminate his emergency declaration for a wall on the USA border with Mexico.
American Civil Liberties Union, which filed one of the cases, said the veto was meaningless - like the declaration in the first place.
The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate voted to end his border emergency declaration, with 12 of Trump's fellow Republicans joining Democrats. Several prominent Senate Republicans stood with the Democrats against the president's emergency declaration, including Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Rand Paul (R-KY).
"Today I am vetoing this resolution". "Yesterday, Congress passed a risky resolution that if signed into law would put countless Americans in dangers, very grave danger".
White House spokeswoman Mercedes Schlapp would not say when the veto would happen, but told reporters Friday Trump is "doing what he believes is his constitutional duty, which is to protect the American people". The president, without acknowledging that lobbying, said he had sympathy for those who defied him, adding they did what they had to do.
The president wants to use the emergency order to divert billions of federal dollars earmarked for defence spending towards the southern border wall.
Brexit: MPs to vote on no-deal after rejecting May's plans
Divisions between the different wings of the Cabinet were on show as MPs considered rejecting a no-deal Brexit. To secure an extension to Article 50, Mrs May would need the support of the 27 other European Union states.
The declaration of an emergency allowed the administration to access over $6bn in additional funds not appropriated by Congress to build the wall.
But on Thursday, Tillis cast his vote with the president, saying he was reassured by indications that Trump would support changes to the National Emergencies Act itself to rein in presidential powers going forward, and that his GOP colleagues also backed such legislation.
Law enforcement officials and angel families were present as the president signed the veto. They praised the president for standing firm on the issue, which resonates strongly with his political base. He cited "thousands and thousands" of gang arrests and claimed numerous asylum seekers released into the US were "stone-cold killers", ignoring data that shows immigrants are less likely to commit crime.
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. "Watch, when you get back to your State, they will LOVE you more than ever before!" For months, there was a stalemate between Congress and Trump that partially shut down the government for 35 days, the longest shutdown in us history.
"It is definitely a national emergency; rarely have we had such a national emergency", he insisted.