U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a tax reform industry meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg)

House Democrats to Investigate Trump’s Emergency Declaration

(Bloomberg) -- House Democrats opened their first line of attack on President Donald Trump’s declaration of emergency on the southern border with the House Judiciary Committee starting an investigation into the “serious constitutional and statutory issues” it raises.

The committee, led by Democrat Jerrold Nadler of New York, asked the White House to make available for a hearing administration staff involved in the decision that redirects about $7 billion in the federal budget to construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The panel asked for testimony from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

“We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system,” Nadler and other top Democrats on the panel said in a letter to the president. “The Constitution vests the Congress with the power of the purse.”

Trump signed bipartisan legislation on Friday that averts a government shutdown and provides about $1.4 billion for the wall project -- far less than Trump has said is needed to fulfill his campaign promise for a barrier on the southern border.

The Judiciary investigation is only one of the challenges the president’s likely to face.

Democrats in the House are planning to initiate a resolution disapproving of Trump’s action, which is sure to pass the chamber and has a good chance at approval by the Senate. Trump likely would veto the measure, and the chances of two-thirds of both chambers voting override it are remote.

There also are possible court challenges on multiple fronts. The attorneys general of California, Nevada, New Mexico and New York have said they would sue to block Trump, and Democrats in the House say they will take the issue to court as well.

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