Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House has authorized a lawsuit against President Donald Trump over his national emergency declaration to fund a wall along our nation's southern border.
“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," Pelosi said in an official statement.
“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. Congress, as Article I – the first branch, co-equal to the other branches – must reassert its exclusive responsibilities reserved by the text of the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances.
The House will once again defend our Democracy and our Constitution, this time in the courts. No one is above the law or the Constitution, not even the President.”
NEW: U.S. House will sue over President Trump's declaration of an emergency at the southern border, Pelosi says https://t.co/S7gphBvoV5— Laura Litvan (@Laura Litvan)1554396159.0
This is the latest development in the ongoing battle to halt the national emergency the president declared in February, and comes just a day after the president insisted that "Congress must get together and immediately eliminate the loopholes at the border." The president also threatened to shutter the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that would have a devastating economic impact nationwide.
Congress must get together and immediately eliminate the loopholes at the Border! If no action, Border, or large se… https://t.co/RlBZM4W5ki— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1554299103.0
Pelosi's announcement garnered immediate praise.
@politico @SpeakerPelosi is absolutely wonderful to watch. If @AOC ever needed a lesson about anything,… https://t.co/CXTes9eBbB— US-11B-VietVet (@US-11B-VietVet)1554402221.0
@politico The Dems are really on a roll. Trump must have really pushed them off the edge. (Not exactly what I typed but thanks Twitter!)— 🇺🇸🇺🇸 STORM🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@🇺🇸🇺🇸 STORM🇺🇸🇺🇸)1554402338.0
@kylegriffin1 This week is getting better and better!— MountainMomma (@MountainMomma)1554402556.0
@kylegriffin1 Thank you Speaker Pelosi! I love the job you're doing. Let's fix this mess...— WA Snowflake (@WA Snowflake)1554403634.0
Despite the president's claims that there is a "national emergency" at the border, his actions said otherwise earlier this afternoon, when he said he was giving Mexico a "one-year warning" to stop the flow of migrants and drugs into the United States. The president threatened to close the border and impose tariffs on cars made there if Mexico does not comply.
“We’re going to give them a one-year warning and if the drugs don’t stop or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars,” he told reporters at the White House. “And if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border.”
The president added that he believes the threat would be a "powerful incentive" for Mexico to act.
"We're going to give [Mexico] a 1-year warning. And if the drugs don't stop (or largely stop), we're going to put t… https://t.co/Zr4mqvbj9R— POLITICO (@POLITICO)1554396790.0
Trump declared a national emergency in February, a move which allows him to access billions of dollars to construct a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border after Congress denied his requests for funding.
The president has been accused of manufacturing a crisis. In fact, his own reasoning was used against him.
“I could do the wall over a longer period of time,” he told NBC’s Peter Alexander when asked about his prior statements on the merits of executive orders, which he had long accused former President Barack Obama of using to circumvent the decisions of Congress. “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”
"I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster," Pre… https://t.co/pcGq4Nquxr— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt)1550248331.0
As he continued to speak during the news conference, the president outlined what would happen next:
“We will have a national emergency. And we will then be sued… And we will possibly get a bad ruling. And then we will get another bad ruling. And then we will end up in the Supreme Court.”
That moment Trump went on about what might happen next: "We will have a national emergency. And we will then be su… https://t.co/5esZ47NE3M— POLITICO (@POLITICO)1550248861.0
The declaration of a national emergency is the culmination of a long fight over funding for the president’s pet project that resulted in a shutdown that kicked off in December 2018 after he declined to sign a stopgap funding bill because he disagreed with the decision of Congress not to provide the funding he’d requested for his proposed border wall. As the shutdown wore on, he insisted that it was simply a ploy by Democrats to cost him re-election.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed in an effort to halt the president’s national emergency declaration. Last month, Congress passed a bipartisan measure blocking the declaration, but Trump vetoed the measure on March 15. It was the first veto of his presidency. Although the Democrat-led House voted again in an attempt to override the president's veto, their efforts did not succeed. Only 13 Republicans sided with Democrats during the original vote, which left the veto intact.