United States President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to make way for funds for a wall along the Mexico border after the Congress refused to allow the money he wanted, Reuters reported. Trump believes the wall will help curb the inflow of crime and drug trade.
In response, the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives has started an investigation into the move. The House is controlled by the Democratic Party, which has opposed the border wall. Trump had sought $5.7 billion for the wall, but has failed to get legislative approval.
The wall was one of the main promises of the Trump election campaign in 2016. The disagreement between the two parties over funding the wall ended up in the longest government shutdown in December-January. The shutdown ended when Trump signed a deal on January 25 to give the Congress 21 days to come up with an agreement or face further blocking of funds.
With that deadline set to expire on Saturday, Trump also signed a bipartisan government spending bill on Friday to prevent another partial government shutdown.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said in a statement that Trump’s actions “clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution”.
“The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the courts, and in the public, using every remedy available,” they said.
“We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system,” the Judiciary Committee wrote to Trump.