House Asks Judge to Block Trump’s Use of Funds to Build Border Wall

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The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday asked a judge to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent President Donald Trump from using funds identified from his national emergency declaration to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, CNN reports.

“Defendants are moving quickly to construct the border wall, and they have awarded contracts against funds that Congress did not appropriate for that purpose,” House General Counsel Doug Letter and other lawyers wrote in a 56-page motion filed to U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden. “And more contracts are coming soon. Once made, these unconstitutional expenditures cannot be undone, and the grave institutional injury inflicted on the House cannot be remedied.”

Trump declared a national emergency in mid-February in an attempt to secure more funding to build a barrier, a move that resulted in roughly $6 billion from the Pentagon’s budget and $600 million from the Treasury Department being shifted over to use for the barrier.

Trump, House lawyers said, violated the U.S. Constitution with his decision to do so.

“The decision to spend funds ‘without Congress’ violates the Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which mandates that ‘[n]o Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law,'” they wrote.

Lawmakers earlier in the month only allocated $1.375 billion for the barrier, far less than the $5.7 billion Trump requested.

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