House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California arrives for a news briefing at the U.S. Capitol on February 7. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 21 (UPI) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging lawmakers to sign a resolution that would terminate the national emergency President Donald Trump declared in order to secure funds for physical barriers along the southern border.
In a letter circulated Wednesday, Pelosi, D-Calif., urged lawmakers to sign Rep. Joaquin Castro's resolution, which will be introduced Friday, to end the emergency declaration.
"I write to invite all members of Congress to co-sponsor Castro's privileged resolution to terminate this emergency declaration," Pelosi wrote.
In the letter, Pelosi said the president's decision to circumvent the normal federal procedures "to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution."
She said the resolution will move quickly through government, landing on the House floor within 18 days.
Representatives have until 3 p.m. Thursday to sign, she added.
Pelosi's letter, sent to Democrats and Republicans, comes as 16 states and advocacy groups are suing to block the declaration.
On Friday, Trump signed a bipartisan spending bill to avert a second government shutdown. The bill allocated $1.38 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, substantially less money than the $5.7 billion he had requested.
To secure the money to fund one of his major campaign promises, Trump declared a national emergency at America's southern border in order to siphon funds from other projects to pay for the barrier.
The move has raised the ire of Democrats and even a few Republicans.
Castro, D-Texas, said in a Feb. 14 media release that it would set a "dangerous precedent regarding the constitutional balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches."
Pelosi, in her letter, said members of Congress have an obligation to maintain government procedural power.
The bill to terminate the emergency declaration would have to secure a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.