President Donald Trump said that if a Democrat-backed resolution to block his national emergency passes through Congress, he will veto it.
Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at America’s southern border is intended to allow the construction of a long-promised border wall to move forward.
House Democrats introduced a resolution opposing the declaration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday.
“The president’s act is lawless,” Pelosi told reporters, according to CNN. “It does violence to our Constitution and therefore to our democracy. His declaration strikes at the heart of our Founders’ concept of America, which demands separation of powers.”
Reporters asked Trump about Democrats’ resolution in the Oval Office on Friday.
“Will I veto it? 100 percent. 100 percent,” Trump said. “And I don’t think it survives a veto. We have too many smart people that want border security, so I can’t imagine if it survives a veto, but I will veto it. Yes.”
Trump said he believes Republicans in Congress will support his declaration.
“Oh, I think they’ll stick,” the president said.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News on Friday that some Republicans will defect in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Graham estimated that there will be “a handful” of Republicans supporting the Democrats, but that the Democrats would not have the votes to override a presidential veto.
At least one high-profile Republican in the House has already joined the anti-emergency bandwagon by signing on to the resolution as a co-sponsor, The Hill reported.
Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican, tweeted his opposition to Trump’s declaration.
A national emergency declaration for a non-emergency is void. A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is that the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump is attempting to circumvent our constitutional system.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) February 15, 2019
Before a Friday meeting with China’s Vice Premier Liu He, Trump reaffirmed his position that the wall is critical for America’s security.
“Everybody knows we need border security. We need a wall. I think it’s a very bad subject for the Democrats,” he said.
“We’ve apprehended more people than we have in many, many years — apprehended meaning we’ve gotten. With a wall, we wouldn’t even have to apprehend them, if we had the proper structures. It’s costing us a lot of money with the military there. We have a lot of military there.”
The president praised law enforcement for doing an “incredible job at the border,” but said a wall would make their job significantly less difficult.
“We have caravans heading up and we’re able to head out the caravans. We’ve done a great job, but if we had the wall, it would be much easier and, frankly, it would be a job that would be perfecto and it would cost actually, ultimately a lot less money.”