House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on members of Congress to back a resolution stopping the national emergency declared by the President in order to secure funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
The White House has already started transferring funds towards building President Donald Trump’s signature campaign promise despite the numerous lawsuits filed to halt it.
“I write to invite all Members of Congress to cosponsor Congressman Joaquin Castro’s privileged resolution … to terminate this emergency declaration using the termination mechanism within the National Emergencies Act,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to her colleagues.
“All Members take an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution. The president’s decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated,” she continued, stressing that lawmakers had the responsibility to uphold the Constitution.
Pelosi further noted that the House will move quickly to pass the resolution and send it to the Senate, pointing out that representatives have a Thursday 3 p.m. deadline to sign it. The resolution presented by Representative Castro will be introduced on Friday.
The Texas Democrat said last week that “Historically, Presidents have declared national emergencies for urgent matters of national security,” but added that “President Trump would unconstitutionally usurp congressional authority by declaring an emergency based upon unfounded hype rather than any substantive emergency.”
He added that the President’s declaration sets a dangerous precedent “regarding the constitutional balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches.”
The Hill writes that Castro’s resolution has over 90 supporters so far and is expected to receive even more support by Democrats in the House where under the chamber’s rules could advance within 15 days to a debate by the full chamber.
Yet, even if it is approved by both chambers, the resolution would eventually end on Trump’s desk who has already said he would veto it. Overriding the veto would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers.
President Trump declared a national emergency last week aimed at obtaining funds Congress had appropriated for other activities and use them to build a wall on the southern border. The move came after Congress refused to meet his demand for $5.7 billion to build the wall.