Friday, January 11 2019

As Trump eyes a potential national emergency, Democrats see a possible lawsuit

Written by Mike DeBonis

House Democrats are aggressively exploring a possible legal challenge should President Trump declare a national emergency to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, scouring federal law and court precedents — including a recent attempt by a Republican-controlled House to undermine the Obama-era health-care law.

The preparation comes as leaders of both parties become increasingly convinced that Trump will see a national-emergency declaration as the only possible way to secure the billions of taxpayer dollars he is seeking to build the wall and end the three-week partial government shutdown, which is poised to become the longest in U.S. history.

Trump on Friday said he “100 percent” had the power to build the wall — a project he previously said would be financed by Mexico — under emergency powers, but said he was “not going to do it so fast” and would give Congress more time to act.

But Democrats have moved quickly behind the scenes to defend against a possible emergency declaration, a step that members of both parties increasingly view as inevitable.

While Democratic lawmakers and lawyers are researching how to potentially undermine the move in the courts, according to House officials familiar with the effort, aides to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and staff members on several House committees are developing a parallel strategy to convince the public that an emergency declaration is unwarranted and would harm communities where previously funded projects were raided to pay for the wall.

This article was sourced from WashingtonPost

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