House to file lawsuit challenging Trump’s national emergency at the border

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will join a growing list of organizations mounting legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration on the border, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

The lawsuit was approved with a 3-2 vote along party lines by the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group. The group is comprised of the top three House Democrats and the top two House Republicans

“The President’s sham emergency declaration and unlawful transfers of funds have undermined our democracy, contravening the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Congress … must reassert its exclusive responsibilities reserved by the text of the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances.”

The lawsuit, which has not been filed yet, will argue that Trump’s decision to transfer funds from appropriated accounts to a southern border wall violates the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution. The clause — found in Article I, Section 8 — gives Congress power over the designation of federal spending.

This is the chamber’s second attempt to halt the use of federal dollars on the wall following the declaration in February.

The declaration came after a 35-day government shutdown over border security that ended with the allocation of $1.375 billion for a wall. The move allows Trump to redirect more than an additional $6 billion for the project in order to address what he called a “national security crisis” at the southern border.

Following Trump’s declaration, the House and Senate passed resolutions to overturn the national emergency, arguing that the President had unconstitutionally bypassed Congress. The measure failed when the House did not have sufficient votes to override the President’s veto, last month.

The administration is also facing seven other legal challenges to the declaration from states, environmental groups and nonprofit organizations.

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