House Democrats on Friday moved forward with a resolution to block U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency.
House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said she and other lawmakers, who supported the resolution were taking the action to uphold and protect the constitution.
“The president’s declaration clearly violates Congress’ exclusive power of the purse,” Pelosi said, referring to the text of the constitution.
Pelosi said the resolution would be put up for a vote in the House early next week and predicted it would pass in the Democrat-controlled chamber, adding that she hoped it would receive bipartisan support.
Representative Joaquin Castro, sponsor of the resolution, described Trump’s emergency declaration as an “unconstitutional power grab” and attempt to undermine both the judiciary and the legislative branches.
“This is an historic power grab and it will require historic unity,” Castro said on the call.
The resolution so far has more than 220 supporters in the 435-member House, but only one Republican is among them, he said.
Trump set the stage for the constitutional clash when he declared the emergency last week, saying it was necessary because the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border requires construction of a wall.
Trump intends to use executive action and the national emergency declaration to find the funds necessary to build hundreds of kilometres of physical barriers on the southern frontier.
Some of the money is to come from the Pentagon’s construction budget and drug forfeitures.