Nancy Pelosi Announces House Will Sue Trump To Stop His Border Emergency Declaration

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answers questions during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on April 4, 2019, in Washington, DC.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House voted to file a lawsuit to block Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. According to Business Insider, leaders will challenge the president’s declaration under the claim that it violates the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause.

Pelosi said that the House’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group voted to file suit to stop the declaration, which Trump made in February in order to divert funds to build his signature campaign promise.

“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,” she said.

She went on to say that Congress, as Article I of the Constitution lays out, has the right to exert its power of checks and balances.

“The President’s action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority,” Pelosi said.

The lawsuit is another in a line of attempts to reel in Trump’s plan to build barriers along the border after Congress denied him the funds to do so. Previously, the House voted to pass a resolution to end the emergency declaration, and though 14 Republicans crossed the aisle to support their Democratic colleagues, they didn’t get the votes needed for a veto-proof majority. The president vetoed the resolution — the first time during his presidency that he has used the veto pen.

Having failed that, the House now turns to the judicial system to stop the emergency declaration. Just as the vote on the resolution, this move is not likely to sway Republicans.

“The House will once again defend our Democracy and our Constitution, this time in the courts,” Pelosi said. “No one is above the law or the Constitution, not even the President.”

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The House lawsuit isn’t the first to be filed to stop Trump’s declaration. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, filed a suit on behalf of 16 states.

Pelosi also said that the House hasn’t given up on the idea of voting to put a stop to the emergency declaration. Congress is allowed to vote every six months under the terms of the National Emergencies Act, and the Speaker said that she planned to pursue that option, and any others available to them.

Until a lawsuit is ruled on, or Congress manages to pass a veto-proof resolution, construction will continue to push forward on the wall.