This is a developing story and may be updated.
House Democrats on Friday introduced a measure to terminate President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration—an act that’s been denounced as an “anti-democratic power grab rooted in racism.”
“A historic power grab requires a historic response,” declared Elizabeth Beavers, associate policy director at the Indivisible Project. “Congress has never acted to terminate a national emergency declared by a president, but it is crucial that they do so this time,” her statement adds. “Make no mistake: this was not an emergency. Instead, this was an illegal, anti-democratic power grab rooted in hate. Congress and the people rejected Trump’s wall but he decided it didn’t matter.”
The joint resolution was put forth by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), who warned last week that the “baseless declaration” issued by the president last week “would set a dangerous precedent regarding the constitutional balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches.”
The measure, says Castro, already has over 200 co-sponsors.
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— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) February 22, 2019
According to the Associated Press, “A staff aide introduced the measure during a short pro forma session of the House in which Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., presided over an almost empty chamber.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged fellow lawmakers to co-sponsor the resolution in a letter on Thursday, and vowed that the chamber “will move swiftly to pass this bill, reporting it out of committee within 15 calendar days and considering it on the floor within 3 calendar days following that, pursuant to the NEA [National Emergencies Act].”
While its passage is likely in the House, it would face an uphill battle in the Senate. Securing a veto-proof two-thirds majority in each Chamber could prove tougher still.
Beavers, however, stressed that “Congress has an obligation to check executive abuses as a co-equal branch of government. Legislators must rein in Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and prevent the government from spending billions of dollars on a wall nobody wants or needs, and that will devastate border communities. We urge all members of Congress to co-sponsor this resolution and to vote in favor of it when it comes to the floor.”