Trump would veto any vote against national emergency, says White House adviser

A top adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump indicated Sunday that Trump is prepared to issue the first veto of his term if Congress votes to disapprove of his declaration of a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Stephen Miller tells Fox News president prepared to issue 1st veto of term

A White House adviser said Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump would be prepared to use a presidential veto if Congress votes to disapprove his national emergency declaration — Trump's latest attempt to secure funding for his long-promised border wall with Mexico. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

A top adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump indicated Sunday that Trump is prepared to issue the first veto of his term if Congress votes to disapprove of his declaration of a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The White House is digging in for fights on multiple fronts as the president's effort to go around Congress to fund his long-promised border wall faces bipartisan criticism and multiple legal challenges. After lawmakers in both parties blocked his requests for billions of dollars to fulfil the signature campaign pledge, Trump declared a national emergency on Friday to shift federal funding earmarked for military construction to the border.

Senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller told Fox News Sunday that "the president is going to protect his national emergency declaration." Asked if that meant Trump was ready to veto a resolution of disapproval, Miller added, "He's going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed."

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told ABC's This Week that his state would sue "imminently" to block the order, after the American Civil Liberties Union and the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen announced Friday they were taking legal action.

Democrats are planning to introduce a resolution disapproving of the declaration once Congress returns to session and it is likely to pass both chambers. Several Republican senators are already indicating they would vote against Trump — though there do not yet appear to be enough votes to override a veto by the president.

Miller insisted the president was granted a wide berth to take action under the National Emergencies Act. But Trump's declaration goes beyond previous emergencies in shifting money after Congress blocked his funding request for the wall, which will likely factor in legal challenges.

Trump aides acknowledge that Trump cannot meet his pledge to build the wall by the time voters decide whether to grant him another term next year, but insist his base will remain by his side as long as he is not perceived to have given up the fight on the barrier.

Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, told CBS's Face the Nation that he believes Congress needs to act to "defend" its powers of the purse.

"I do think that we should not set the terrible precedent of letting a president declare a national emergency simply as a way of getting around the congressional appropriations process," he said.

Rep. Will Hurd, a Texas Republican and a critic of Trump's border policies, said he would support legislation to review Trump's emergency declaration, saying, "It sets a dangerous precedent."

"My concern is our government wasn't designed to operate by national emergency," he told CBS.

Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller indicated Sunday on Fox News that Trump would be prepared to issue the veto in order to circumvent congressional approval. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, told ABC that he believes there are enough Republican votes to prevent the supermajority required to override a veto. 

In order to cancel out a presidential veto, a supermajority of two-thirds of both the Senate and House of Representatives would be necessary.

"I think there are plenty of votes in the House to make sure that there's no override of the president's veto," Jordan said. "So it's going to be settled in court, we'll have to wait and see."

With files from CBC News