House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stressed Thursday that the chamber, along with an increasing number of organizations, will challenge President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration on the border.
The House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, including three Democrats and two Republicans, approved a lawsuit along party lines in a 3-2 vote.
“The President’s sham emergency declaration and unlawful transfers of funds have undermined our democracy, contravening the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution,” the House speaker said. “Congress … must reassert its exclusive responsibilities reserved by the text of the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances.”
The lawsuit, which is yet to be filed, will argue that the President’s decision to transfer funds from appropriated accounts to a southern border wall violates the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution, CNN informs.
The lawsuit represents the second time the House has tried to block President Trump’s use of federal funds to build his long-promised border wall. After Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border, Congress passed resolutions to overturn it, but failed to get the needed votes to override the President’s veto last month.
A number of states, groups and organizations have likewise challenged the Trump administration’s efforts. On Thursday, several groups filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the construction of the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The motion was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court in California, arguing that Trump’s national emergency declaration is unconstitutional because only Congress has the proper authority to appropriate funds.
According to the groups, drawing funding for the construction of the wall from other agencies would cause “irreparable damage.”
“Neither a declaration of emergency nor the statutes that Defendants have invoked permit the President to disregard Congress’s enacted appropriations legislation. Nor have Defendants even attempted to comply with the environmental protections Congress required in the National Environmental Policy Act,” the lawsuit reads.
It adds that an injunction is needed to “prevent Defendants’ disregard for the statutes enacted by a coordinate branch of government, and their attempt to usurp its powers.”