February 22, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is backing a legislative effort to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration.
A week ago, on February 15, the president proclaimed a national emergency in order to secure more funding for his southern border wall— but admitted that it was not a truly urgent situation, saying, “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.”
Now, Democrats are bringing a bill to the floor intended to terminate he emergency mandate—and Pelosi is urging House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the resolution, according to a letter obtained by Politico on February 20.
“I write to invite all Members of Congress to cosponsor Congressman Joaquin Castro’s privileged resolution to terminate this emergency declaration,” Pelosi wrote, noting that the House will “move swiftly to pass this bill.”
“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,” she added.
“We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and defend our system of checks and balances against the President’s assault,” Pelosi wrote.
According to the Politico report, aides for Castro circulated an email Wednesday afternoon, announcing plans to introduce the resolution of disapproval after Trump’s declaration was published in the Federal Register this week.
Word-of-mouth is that the resolution will be introduced on the House floor today. As soon as the House votes on the resolution, the clock starts for Senate GOP leaders, who are required under law to put the measure to a vote within 18 days.
It would take just four GOP senators to join with Democrats to approve the resolution, which appears quite plausible, given Republican concern with Trump’s emergency declaration, Politico said.
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Wednesday became the first GOP senator to publicly say she would support the Democratic resolution, according to the AP. Speaking at a Coast Guard ceremony in her state, Collins said Trump’s move “completely undermines” the role of Congress.
Trump would be certain to issue the first veto of his presidency over the measure, Politico says. To override him in the House, more than 50 Republicans would need to join with Democrats to secure the needed 288 votes.
Research contact: @heatherscope