Pelosi announces legal challenge to Trump’s ‘national emergency’ power grab

House Speaker-delegate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) raises the gavel after being elected as House Speaker as the U.S. House of Representatives meets for the start of the 116th Congress inside the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC14633F83E0

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House plans to file a legal challenge to Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration after he vetoed a resolution passed by both congressional chambers earlier this year rejecting it.

“The House will once again defend our Democracy and our Constitution, this time in the courts,” Pelosi wrote in a statement. “No one is above the law or the Constitution, not even the President.”

House Democrats sought to override Trump’s veto several weeks ago but, after only attracting 14 Republican votes, fell short of the two-thirds of the chamber necessary to pass the measure. Trump plans to use the declaration to dip into military money in order to fund his border wall, an action Pelosi said was unconstitutional.

“The President’s action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority,” she wrote. “Congress, as Article I – the first branch, co-equal to the other branches – must reassert its exclusive responsibilities reserved by the text of the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances.”

The lawsuit is one of several legal challenges being mounted against Trump’s declaration, including one filed by 16 states. Along with this judicial effort, House Democrats have also indicated they intend to continue taking votes against the resolution every six months as stipulated by the National Emergencies Act.

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