Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democrats including Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, who introduced the privileged resolution H.J.Res. 46, held a press conference calling on lawmakers in the Senate to also pass the resolution in order to “defend our democracy.”
“We would be delinquent in our duties if we did not fight back to overturn the president’s declaration,” said Pelosi.
Castro, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said it will require “historic unity” to pass the bill through Congress, while thanking the bill’s 230 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, up from 220 when it was introduced.
“Congress must step up and reclaim its role over the power of the purse,” he said. “This resolution is critically important to the future of the relationship between the legislative and the executive branches above and beyond any party, above and beyond any president.”
Trump’s declaration provides him unilateral permission to siphon money from drug interdiction programs and Defense Department construction projects, for a total of $6.7 billion to put toward building a wall.
Congress can overrule a declared national emergency, and House Democrats have enough votes to do so with a 235-197 majority.
After likely passing in the House on Tuesday, the bill is likely to face a challenge in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Because the bill is related to a national emergency, the Senate must vote on it within 18 days and it cannot be blocked by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
As a “privileged” legislation it needs only a simple majority of 51 votes to pass the Senate, where Democrats hold 47 seats.
If passed by the Senate, the bill would likely be vetoed by Trump and would require Republican support to overrule the president’s decision.