House set to vote to end border wall ’emergency’

House set to vote to end Trump’s border wall ’emergency’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives votes on Tuesday on a resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the border with Mexico. House Democrats introduced the resolution last week, challenging Trump’s assertion that he could take money Congress had appropriated for other activities and use it to build the wall.

A bipartisan group of 58 former national security officials issued a statement Monday saying there was no “factual basis” for Trump’s emergency declaration.

Lawmakers must not allow “any president (to) on a whim declare emergencies, simply because he or she can’t get their way in the Congress,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer declared Monday.

Schumer warned Trump’s emergency declaration “could cannibalize funding from worthy projects all over the country,” noting that the administration had not even decided yet what projects to take the funds from.

About 226 House lawmakers are co-sponsoring the bill, including all but a handful of Democrats as well as one Republican, Justin Amash.

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The issue is also in the courts. A coalition of 16 U.S. states led by California have sued Trump and top members of his administration to block his emergency declaration.

Congress this month appropriated $1.37 billion for building border barriers following a battle with Trump, which included a 35-day partial government shutdown – the longest in U.S. history – when agency funding lapsed on Dec. 22.

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