Top House Democrats want to know where, exactly, Trump will steal from in his attempt to build a border wall.
Trump wants to use his fake national emergency to steal money from other programs to pay for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
But, as the branch in charge of funding priorities, Congress is unwilling to let the Trump administration to run roughshod over their Constitutional responsibilities
Four top Democratic House members have sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) demanding to know more details about Trump's plans on raiding more than $6 billion. The lawmakers are "frustrated by the lack of transparency" from the Trump administration and want to know "specific funding sources and additional authorities that would be used and the programs, projects, and activities from which funds would be diverted."
The letter was signed by Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth, Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, who chairs of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Mike Quigley, who chairs the Appropriations Financial Services and General Government subcommittee.
After Congress rejected his demand for $5.7 billion to build a border wall he once promised Mexico would pay for, Trump made up a fake national emergency at the southern border as an excuse to build the wall anyway. In doing so, Trump said he would raid funds from various government programs — including possibly schools serving military families — to pay for the wall. According to one report, Trump may swipe $1 billion in funds meant for military pay and pensions in his obsessive quest to construct the wall.
But as the letter notes, Trump has yet to provide the exact details of what specific programs he will steal from. And Congress is not happy, taking a moment to remind the Trump administration of Congress's constitutional role in American democracy.
"As the Article I branch, it is essential that Congress remains at the center of funding decisions, especially decisions that Congress has spent considerable time debating and negotiating," the leaders wrote. Documentation about what programs will be raided and how those decisions were made are critical, they said, as Congress is "still responsible for performing their constitutional oversight responsibilities."
In addition to announcing a fake emergency, Trump continues his obsession with funding and building a border wall. In his 2020 budget, Trump is demanding an additional $8.6 billion for wall funding. Democrats immediately dismissed the request, with Lowey saying it was "not even worth the paper it's written on."
Voters sent Democrats to Congress with a mandate to conduct fair and vigorous oversight of an increasingly corrupt Trump administration. With this letter, Congress is showing it means business when it comes to honoring the will of voters.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.