Ryan co-sponsors resolution to block Trump’s emergency declaration
WASHINGTON — Democrats controlling the House have teed up a vote next week to block President Donald Trump from using a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, accelerating a showdown in Congress that could divide Republicans and lead to Trump’s first veto.
The Democrats, including Congressman Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, introduced a resolution Friday to block Trump’s declaration, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would vote on the measure Tuesday. It is sure to pass, and the GOP-run Senate may adopt it as well. Trump quickly promised a veto.
“Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution says ‘No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequences of Appropriations made by Law.’ Congress has the power of the purse, and President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency for an ineffective, expensive wall subverts that power of Congress and undermines our constitution. There is no national emergency. And as a member of the Military Construction committee, it’s outrageous the President is taking 35 percent of the Mil Con budget that’s supposed to fund military projects, housing and facilities. The President cannot be allowed to continue this political charade, and I join my colleagues in blocking Trump’s emergency declaration,” Ryan said in an email.
“Will I veto it? 100 percent,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Any Trump veto would likely be sustained, but the upcoming battle will test Republican support for the president’s move, which even some of his allies view as a stretch — and a slap at lawmakers’ control over the power of the federal purse.
Pelosi, D-Calif., said she’d honor her oath of office and uphold the Constitution, adding, “I wish he would have the same dedication to that oath of office himself.” Speaking to reporters in Laredo, Texas, she said, “This is a path I would not recommend he go down. I don’t expect him to sign it, but I do expect us to send it” to him.
House GOP leaders will urge rank-and-file Republicans on Monday to oppose the measure, Republican aides said. If all Democrats and at least 55 Republicans vote for it, it would pass by a veto-proof margin — a two-thirds majority. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity to describe leaders’ plans.
A staff aide introduced the measure during a short pro forma House session in which Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., presided over an almost-empty chamber.
“What the president is attempting is an unconstitutional power grab,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, the sponsor of the resolution, on a call with reporters. “There is no emergency at the border.”
Trump’s declaration of a national emergency gives him access to about $3.6 billion in funding for military construction projects to divert to border fencing. But the administration is more likely to tap funding from a federal asset forfeiture fund and Defense Department anti-drug efforts first.
Trump’s edict is also being challenged in the federal courts, where a host of Democratic-led states such as California are among those that have sued to overturn Trump’s order. The House may also join in.