House sues members of Trump administration over 'sham' border-emergency declaration
President Donald Trump declares a national emergency to confront the US-Mexico border security crisis
The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, alleges the administration “flouted the fundamental separation-of-powers principles and usurped for itself legislative power specifically vested by the Constitution in Congress,” Politico reported.
The complaint names as defendants Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and the departments they oversee. Trump is not named as a defendant.
"The House has been injured, and will continue to be injured, by defendants' unconstitutional actions, which usurp the House's appropriations authority and mean that the relevant funds are no longer available to be spent on the purposes for which they were appropriated," the complaint says.
Trump declared a national emergency in February, a move that came after a partial government shutdown and was met with outcry from members of both parties who claimed he was interfering with Congress.
The declaration allows Trump to divert extra funds needed to build his long-promised border wall. He had requested $5.7 billion for construction, but Congress has granted only a fraction of that.
House Speak Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced her intention to sue the administration Thursday, the Politico reported.
"The President’s sham emergency declaration and unlawful transfers of funds have undermined our democracy, contravening the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution,” Pelosi said in a statement.