National Security

Pelosi Urges Lawmakers to Fight Trump’s Emergency Declaration

The California Democrat and House speaker sent a letter encouraging her colleagues to support the legislation that opposes the president's order

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Chip Somodevilla/Staff/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to lawmakers late on Wednesday encouraging them to support legislation opposing the emergency declaration at the border.

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency along the southern border in order to secure enough funding for a security wall late last week.

His decision came amid legislative talks that failed to meet the requests for border wall funding.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), in response, is planning to introduce a measure that will end the emergency declaration.

“President Trump’s emergency declaration proclamation undermines the separation of powers and Congress’s power of the purse, a power exclusively reserved by the text of the Constitution to the first branch of government, the legislative branch, a branch co-equal to the executive,” Pelosi said in the letter, which was provided to LifeZette.

“I write to invite all Members of Congress to cosponsor Congressman Joaquin Castro’s privileged resolution.”

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Related: 17 States Sue Trump Administration Over Emergency Declaration

The border security fight was so bitter, it led to a record-long partial government shutdown and threatened a second one. The short-term spending bill that ended the first shutdown gave congressional negotiators only three weeks to find a compromise.

They came up with a compromise last week after laying out some details in the days before that.

Trump did end up signing the proposal, with pressure from both parties to stop the incoming shutdown. But he also declared the national emergency because the deal fell far short of the $5.7 billion he requested for the wall. The president could possibly free up billions in emergency funds for his wall from various federal reserves through the National Emergencies Act (NEA).

“The House will move swiftly to pass this bill, reporting it out of committee within 15 calendar days and considering it on the Floor within three calendar days following that, pursuant to the NEA,” Pelosi said.

“After House passage, the resolution will be referred to the Senate and then sent to the president’s desk.”

Related: People Who Support the Border Wall Are ‘Not Patriots,’ Insists Maxine Waters

The budget compromise includes $22.54 billion in total border security funding, with $1.375 billion of that going to 55 miles of physical barriers along the southwest border. The proposal also funds the remaining parts of the federal government through the fiscal year to September 30.

“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,” Pelosi said.

“We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and defend our system of checks and balances against the president’s assault,” she added.

Related: Border Fight Heats Up After Trump Declares National Emergency

Trump is also facing lawsuits. California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, is leading 16 other states that have sued the administration.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is planning to be in court to make arguments for the first time in their own lawsuit later on Thursday. The ACLU has also mobilized protests against the decision as well.

Trump entertained the idea of declaring a state of emergency since the latter part of the earlier government shutdown.

He has argued numerous times the situation at the border constitutes a crisis and that a wall is critical to deterring illegal drugs and criminal gangs from coming into this country.

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