Donald Trump has more than met his match in House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Sure, 45 has his bag of magic tricks to conjure up his delusion illusions: manipulation, bullying, diversion, and victimhood. Yet, Pelosi has a few special tools in hand, too: a razor-sharp intelligence, a deep understanding of how politics work, a wealth of U.S. history, and a wellspring of strength.
POTUS considers the Democrats his enemy, especially after they said no to his ask for more money to build his memorial southern border wall. First, he shut down the government. When that did not work, he tried to pull a fast one by declaring a national emergency earlier this year. Pelosi said not so fast. The House has sued the White House.
Pelosi just released a statement noting her House would “defend our Democracy and our Constitution,” according to Buzzfeed News:
‘The House will once again defend our Democracy and our Constitution, this time in the courts. No one is above the law or the Constitution, not even the President.’
The man occasionally sitting in the Oval Office used an unconstitutional expansion of presidential powers to shift delegated funds from one area to another. Only Congress has the power of the purse. The Senate and the House passed a resolution to reject 45’s national emergency declaration, but Congress did not have enough votes to overcome the president’s veto. The Republicans were willing to give up their Constitutional duties for a man who would betray any of them in an instance.
The House will argue that he violated the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, voted to authorize the lawsuit. Pelosi stated that:
‘The President’s action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority. Congress, as Article I — the first branch, co-equal to the other branches — must reassert its exclusive responsibilities reserved by the text of the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances.’
Here is how Trump’s power grab broke down. The president tried to use a national emergency to move the $2.5 billion in the Department of Defense (DOD) relegated to counter-drug efforts to his wall fund. He also attempted to take $3.6 billion from military construction funds and $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (R-NY) said:
‘We authorized (the lawsuit). I presume we’ll follow through on that.’
This certainly was not the first lawsuit regarding Trump usurping the power of the House. These have been challenging his use of the national emergency to funnel billions into his pet project.
Shortly after the president came up with his scheme, a legal advocacy group called Public Citizen headed to court. In addition, there is a group of Democratic state attorneys general who have also sued. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has led this group. Then, there were the environmental groups, the city of El Paso, Texas, and people who owned land adjacent to or beneath the planned wall — all filing lawsuits.
In January, the Congress offered Trump $1.375 billion to build his wall. The Democrats gave him significantly larger sums earlier, but he rejected them. Pelosi cleverly reduced the proffered amounts every time POTUS tried another one of his dark tricks.