The US House of Representatives is to introduce a resolution to block the national emergency declaration issued by President Donald Trump to raise funds for a Mexican border wall.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is throwing her weight behind the legislative effort, urging House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this first formal step to counter Trump and squeeze Republicans on the border wall.
Democrats will introduce the resolution of disapproval on Friday after Trump’s declaration was published in the Federal Register this week.
“I write to invite all Members of Congress to cosponsor Congressman Joaquin Castro’s privileged resolution to terminate this emergency declaration,” Pelosi wrote in a letter sent to both Democrats and Republicans on Wednesday night.
She noted that the House will “move swiftly to pass this bill.” “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.”
“We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and defend our system of checks and balances against the President’s assault,” she wrote.
Democrats are also expected to file a lawsuit to halt Trump’s effort to circumvent Congress to build his border wall.
The resolution could set up a vote by the full House by mid-March and then move to the Republican-controlled Senate. The resolution needs a two-thirds vote in both chambers to override Trump’s veto. It will automatically receive a vote on the Senate floor, forcing Republicans in both chambers to take a stand on Trump’s use of executive power, which some GOP lawmakers have already harshly criticized.
Republican senators facing tough re-election fights next year in competitive states like Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina would have to take stances that could risk dividing the GOP’s pro-Trump and more moderate voters.
Moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Wednesday she would back a resolution blocking the emergency declaration, making her the first Republican to publicly state her support for the effort to thwart the emergency. With Republicans holding a 53-47 majority, three more GOP senators would need to vote with Democrats for the resolution to win initial approval.
The measure aims at preventing Trump from funding his signature campaign pledge through money allocated to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Army Corps of Engineers.
Funding for the wall has led to a budget impasse and an ongoing dispute over border security.
In order to get the funding, Trump declared a national emergency at the border on Friday in an attempt to circumvent US Congress.