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House Dems fight back against President Trump's national emergency declaration

President Donald Trump gestures as visiting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz leaves the White House in Washington following their meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

House Democrats are fighting back against President Trump after the president declared a national emergency to bypass Congress and take money from military projects to build his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, introduced a resolution that would terminate the president’s declaration.

“What the president is attempting is an unconstitutional power grab,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro D-Texas told reporters on a conference call Friday. “There is no emergency at the border."

The Texas congressman said he has about 226 co-sponsors of his resolution, including one Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the plan is to have the full House vote on the resolution Tuesday.

President Trump vowed to veto the resolution if it hits his desk.

“Will I veto it? 100 percent,” Trump told reporters at the White House Friday.

Earlier this week, President Trump defended his actions saying he has the absolute right to declare an emergency.

“We need strong borders. We have to stop drugs and crime and criminals and human trafficking. And we have to stop all of those things that a strong wall will stop,” Trump said.

Some Republicans believe the president has the authority to declare an emergency, but think it sets a terrible precedent.

“I think it’s an incredibly bad idea and i think it also is going to get caught up in the courts,” said Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas.

The resolution is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House, and it will then go to the Senate where the upper chamber will have to vote on it within 18 days. It seems unlikely that Congress will be able to get the two-thirds majority to override a presidential veto.

Some moderate Senate Republicans, like Susan Collins R-Maine, says she will support he resolution.

If the president’s emergency declaration gets tied up in the courts and congress, there are other some moves the administration can make. The White House could ask for more money for the wall in next year’s budget, which would set up another fight on Capitol Hill. Further, a more drastic measure, where the administration could tie money for a wall to increase the U.S. debt ceiling.

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