Pelosi Vows to Block Trump's Emergency Declaration with Congressional Resolution
Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi circulates letter begging for support
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi circulated a letter on Wednesday, begging for support for members of Congress to back a congressional resolution to block President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration.
The resolution will be introduced on Friday and presented by the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHS), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas).
"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's "Dear Colleague" letter reads.
Pelosi made the unusual move of sending the letter to both Republicans and Democrats in the House.
Pelosi vowed that Castro's privileged resolution will be pushed through quickly, adding that it will be reported within 15 days and moved to the House floor for consideration just three days after that.
After it's passed in the House, Pelosi noted that she hopes the upper chamber will move on the resolution just as quickly.
Pelosi urged members to uphold the power of the legislative branch in her letter, arguing that they have an obligation to so.
According to a report by Reuters, Castro's bill already has more than 90 supporters and is predicted to receive ample support in the Democratic majority.
Although passage by the Democrat-run House seems likely, the measure would then move to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it would rely on a large number of GOP defections to win approval.
According to the Daily Mail, Trump has promised to veto the measure.
It seems unlikely Congress could muster the two-thirds majorities in each chamber needed to override a veto.
Aides to Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, were circulating a letter Wednesday to other congressional offices seeking additional co-sponsors to his one-page resolution.
"We are planning to introduce it on Friday morning," said the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
Castro's measure, which described Trump's emergency declaration, says it "is hereby terminated."
Congress approved a vast spending bill last week providing nearly $1.4 billion to build 55 miles of border barriers in Texas's Rio Grande Valley while preventing a renewed government shutdown.
That measure represented a rejection of Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to construct more than 200 miles.
Besides signing the bill, Trump also declared a national emergency that he says gives him access to an additional $6.6 billion that would be taken from a federal asset forfeiture fund, Defense Department anti-drug efforts and military construction projects.
Democrats and some Republicans say there is no emergency at the border and say Trump is improperly declaring one to work around Congress' rejection of the higher amounts.
We have just built this powerful Wall in New Mexico. Completed on January 30, 2019 – 47 days ahead of schedule! Many miles more now under construction! #FinishTheWall pic.twitter.com/TYkj3KRdOC— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
The plan for introducing the resolution was initially described by officials at three progressive groups who heard of them from congressional aides but were not authorized to discuss the plans privately.
A top Trump adviser confirmed on Sunday that the president will issue the first veto of his term in office if Congress votes to nullify his emergency declaration.
White House senior adviser Stephen Miller said on "Fox News Sunday" that "the president is going to protect his national emergency declaration."
Asked if that meant Trump was ready to veto a congressional resolution, Miller added: "He's going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed."