Republican Rep. Justin Amash joined a resolution seeking to block President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration that seeks to gain additional funding for the construction of barriers along the southern border.
At this point, the Michigan representative is the sole Republican who has signed on to the legislation, which is being pushed by Democratic Reps. Joaquin Castro of Texas and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
“Right now I believe that we’re at about 226 or 227 co-sponsors including one Republican, Justin Amash, and I look forward to getting more support as the days go on,” Castro told reporters on a call Friday, according to The Hill.
Following Trump’s announcement last week, Amash tweeted that the president is “attempting to circumvent our constitutional system.”
“A national emergency declaration for a non-emergency is void,” he wrote. “A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is that the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act.”
A national emergency declaration for a non-emergency is void. A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is that the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump is attempting to circumvent our constitutional system.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) February 15, 2019
The Hill reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to both Democrats and Republicans in the chamber urging them to support the resolution overturning Trump’s national emergency declaration.
Several Republican senators have expressed reservations about the president’s action, including Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky, John Cornyn of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has supported the president’s decision, told Fox News on Friday only a “handful” of his colleagues would support a resolution to block the declaration.
If resolutions pass both the Senate and the House, Trump has the veto power, which would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers to override him.
In addition to the $1.375 billion Congress voted to authorize for barrier funding, the White House plans to redirect $3.6 billion from a military construction fund, $2.5 billion from a Department of Defense drug interdiction program and $600 million from the Treasury Department from a drug forfeiture fund, CNBC reported.
The national emergency is specifically being used to tap the $3.6 billion from the military construction fund.
CBS News reported that 16 states filed a lawsuit in federal court in the Northern District of California (part of the 9th Circuit) on Feb. 18 to block Trump’s emergency declaration, just as he predicted would happen the day he announced his decision.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is spearheading the effort, told CBS News, “Republicans in Congress, most of them at least, are abrogating their own responsibility.
“This is their power that the president is usurping, the power of the purse, and yet they seem to be going along with the president.”
Last Friday, Trump expressed confidence that his administration will prevail in the courts, just as they did regarding his travel ban from certain countries.
President Trump: “We will have a national emergency and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling and then we’ll get another bad ruling and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court…” pic.twitter.com/pYvliSM14b
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 15, 2019
“We will have a national emergency and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling and then we’ll get another bad ruling and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake, and we’ll win in the Supreme Court,” he said.
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