This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.
A legislative battle over the southern border wall is brewing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that the House of Representatives will vote next week on a joint resolution that would block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, thus preventing about $6.5 billion additional federal funds from being redirected to pay for southern border security.
“The president is not above the law in any way, and this action he is taking is circumventing the Constitution of the United States and does violence to it,” Pelosi said on a conference call, the Washington Examiner reported.
“We will pass the resolution in the House and send it over to the Senate,” she added. The vote is expected on Tuesday.
#BREAKING: The House is set to vote on Tuesday to block President Trump from using a national emergency to build a border wall, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced.
— NPR (@NPR) February 22, 2019
If the bill passes both the House and Senate, it would be put before President Trump, who has the power to veto or approve it. If the President vetoes the resolution, it would be sent back to Congress, where it would need a two-thirds vote to override a Presidential veto.
The House of Representatives has a Democratic majority, and Pelosi expects the resolution to pass. However, the Senate is controlled by Republicans.
Trump and Pelosi have gone head-to-head over southern border security the past several months, with Congress finally agreeing on a bipartisan federal funding bill that provided $1.375 billion for a border wall, but that Trump was ultimately unhappy with. He signed the legislation to avoid a second government shutdown this year.
The President last Friday declared a national emergency in order to fund an additional $6.5 billion for southern border security.
Trump wants an additional $6.5 billion in addition to what Congress had approved for border security – totaling roughly $8 billion for more than 200 miles of steel border barriers. Congress’ funding provided for about 55 miles of barriers.
Democrats had said they would immediately challenge a national emergency declaration both legally and legislatively.
Trump said last Friday that top Democrats are engaged in a “con game” when it comes to the border wall, which he has called a humanitarian and security crisis.
“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border. One way or the other, we have to do it. Not only because it was a campaign promise, which it was – one of many, by the way,” Trump said at a presser.
“I’m going to be signing a national emergency,” Trump said, pointing out that such measures have been signed before. “They [past presidents] sign it for far less important things in some cases; in many cases. We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”
Trump has said he would declare a national emergency to build the border wall if Congress doesn’t provide the funds for it.
He has also said the U.S. “will build a Human Wall if necessary” at the southern border with Mexico.