WASHINGTON – House Democrats will initiate action Friday to try to block President Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency along the southern border.
Trump announced the declaration last week as a means of freeing up billions to pay for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border after Congress failed to give him the money he demanded.
Democrats have called the declaration an overreach of Trump’s power and have vowed to fight it.
According to a letter sent by Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro’s office, the Texas Democrat will introduce a resolution Friday morning that, if passed by both the House and Senate, would terminate the emergency declaration.
The resolution is likely to have strong support in the Democratic-led House. But it faces a tough fight in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Many Republicans have said they were uncomfortable with the president declaring a national emergency to get funding for a wall along the southern border.
Trump made the emergency declaration after Congress allocated $1.375 billion for a barrier along the southern border, far short of the $5.7 billion Trump had demanded. The fight over wall funding led to a 35-day government shutdown – the longest on record.
White House officials have said the emergency declaration and other budget maneuvers would free up an additional $6.6 billion, which would build at least 234 miles of border wall.
Sixteen states have already filed a lawsuit over Trump’s emergency declaration, arguing it exceeds the power of the president and unconstitutionally redirects federal money that Congress had set aside for other purposes.