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House of Representatives Sues Trump Administration Over Border Wall Emergency Declaration

A section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Credit: Chess Ocampo/Shutterstock.com

A section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Credit: Chess Ocampo/Shutterstock.com

The Democratic-led House of Representatives sued the Trump administration on Friday over the president’s plan to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency earlier this year in order to secure billions of dollars in funding for the wall, a move that Democratic lawmakers, and some Republicans, immediately decried as usurping the House’s spending powers.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, says the Trump administration initially sought $5 billion from Congress to deliver on the president’s campaign promise to build a border wall. When he didn’t get his way, the House argues, the administration went ahead and announced it would spend federal dollars on wall construction anyway.

“In doing so, the Administration flouted fundamental separation-of-powers principles and usurped for itself legislative power specifically vested by the Constitution in Congress,” the complaint said. “Even the monarchs of England long ago lost the power to raise and spend money without the approval of Parliament.”

Several agency heads and their departments are named as defendants in the suit. Defendants include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Trump’s emergency declaration is facing several other legal challenges, including one from a coalition of state attorneys general. The group of states, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, claims the administration is unlawfully diverting funds that would have been dedicated to law enforcement, drug interdiction, and military construction projects.

Read the lawsuit:

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