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U.S. House Democrats move to block Trump's emergency declaration on border

by Reuters
Thursday, 21 February 2019 01:42 GMT

(Adds letter from House Speaker Pelosi)

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to introduce a resolution on Friday to end President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration on border security, according to aides to Representative Joaquin Castro.

So far, 92 lawmakers have joined Castro in backing the legislation, which under House rules could advance within weeks to a debate by the full chamber, which is controlled by Democrats.

Trump declared a national emergency last week in order to take money Congress had appropriated for other activities and use it to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump's move came after Congress declined to fulfill his request for $5.7 billion to help build the wall this year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter on Wednesday to both Democratic and Republican members inviting them to cosponsor Castro's resolution. She said the House "will move swiftly to pass this bill."

Both the House and the Republican-led Senate could pass a resolution terminating the emergency by majority vote. However, any such measure would then go to Trump, who would likely veto it. Overriding the veto would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

A coalition of 16 U.S. states led by California sued Trump and top members of his administration on Monday to block his decision to declare the emergency.

The lawsuit said Trump's declaration was a misuse of presidential power.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.