U.S. states sued Donald Trump’s administration in showdown over border wall funds

Vastavam web: A coalition of 16 U.S. states led by California sued President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday over his decision to declare a national emergency to obtain funds for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California came just days after Trump invoked emergency powers on Friday after Congress declined to fulfill his request for $5.7 billion to help build the wall that was his signature 2016 campaign promise. His move aims to let him spend money appropriated by Congress for other purposes.

“We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states. For most of us, the Office of the Presidency is not a place for theatre,” added Becerra, a Democrat. The legal challenges could slow down Trump’sefforts to build the wall, which he says is needed to check illegal immigration and drug trafficking, but will likely end up at the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court.

In a budget deal passed by Congress to avert a second government shutdown, nearly $1.4 billion was allocated toward border fencing. Trump’s emergency order would give him an additional $6.7 billion beyond what lawmakers authorized.

Earlier, Trump had said he knew that he did not need to declare an emergency to build the wall, a comment that could now undercut the government’s legal argument. “Presidents don’t go in and claim declarations of emergency for the purposes of raiding accounts because they weren’t able to get Congress to fund items,” Becerra said on MSNBC.