U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, filed a resolution of disapproval Friday to block President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to build a border wall.
“The president’s emergency declaration is an overreach of executive power,” Sewell said. “He himself said he did not need to declare an emergency at the border. The real national emergency is not at our southern border – it is in our rural areas where hospitals are struggling to keep their doors open. It is in Lowndes and Wilcox counties, where residents lack basic water resources It is in communities across the country that continue to be devastated by the opioid crisis. President Trump’s border wall is not a national emergency.”
A vote is scheduled on the resolution, which is sponsored by more than 220 members in the House of Representatives today. After the measure is passed by the House, it will be sent to the Senate as a privileged resolution, meaning that it must be considered on the Senate floor within 18 days of passage by the House.
Trump has declared that the human and narcotics trafficking on the southern border has become such a crisis that he needs to react by declaring a national emergency so that he has the flexibility to move funds over to begin building a border wall on the southern border.
Castro is the chairman of the House Hispanic Caucus.
“When we heard six weeks ago that President Trump considered declaring an emergency to access funds to build his border wall, it was clear that Congress needed to take a vote on this issue and potentially terminate this fake declaration,” Castro said. “The president is attempting an unconstitutional power grab, continuing his track record of repeatedly undermining the judiciary and legislative branches of government. This is a historic move that will require historic unity in Congress and among the American people. I’m proud to lead the effort in the House of Representatives that provides the people’s representatives a vote on terminating this absurd declaration, which aims to divert critical resources and will ultimately hurt border communities. There is no emergency at the border, and this is not just about the wall. As Americans, we must push back against the president’s dangerous behavior that challenges our system of checks and balances and stand up to the president’s anti-immigrant agenda and xenophobic rhetoric.”
H.J. Res. 46 was introduced with 226 original cosponsors including all 36 members of the Hispanic Caucus in the House of Representatives. It has enough cosponsors to pass the Democrat dominated House. It has a more uncertain future in the U.S. Senate where Republicans have a narrow three seat majority.
Congress has already appropriated over a billion dollars for the president to build 55 miles of border wall this year.