Another Democrat attempt to keep our borders undefended collapsed recently after a federal judge threw out a legal challenge to the president’s funding plans. House Dems seem to have given up trying to block the planned border wall directly; now they’re using obscure arguments about Congressional powers to do their dirty work for them. It seems like one judge, at least, isn’t listening anymore.
Back in February, President Trump declared a national emergency over the flood of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border. That was a sensible recognition of just how bad the situation is getting, with intruders trying to break through in unprecedented numbers. However, it also opened up new ways to get around Democrats’ refusal to fund the wall.
- After declaring the emergency, Trump reallocated billions of dollars of federal funds to make up the gap between what the wall will cost and what Dems in Congress were prepared to pay — barely a quarter of the $6 billion we need to spend.
- Most of this money came from military construction budgets, with more reallocated from anti-drug operations — the wall is a fantastic obstacle to drug smugglers, of course — and the Treasury Department’s controversial asset forfeiture fund.
- Because this is emergency funding, it doesn’t rely on congressional approval — and that left Dems furious. Many of them, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), vowed to do whatever they could to sabotage the border security project.
- What Pelosi and her collaborators actually did was take the fight to federal court, where they claimed that Trump’s move left Congress powerless. Unluckily for them, US District Judge Trevor McFadden disagreed.
- McFadden reminded the unhappy Dems that they actually have plenty of ways to block emergency spending — they just haven’t used them. While the judge didn’t point it out explicitly, the reason they haven’t used them is that even in today’s fiercely partisan House they don’t have the numbers to override a presidential veto.
- The House has already tried to block the emergency spending by passing a resolution overturning the declaration of emergency. The president immediately vetoed it. As McFadden said, Dems can democratically overturn that veto — if they can get the numbers. And they can’t.
- This latest move by Pelosi and others is just a refusal to accept that, sometimes, democracy means the other guys get to win. Now a judge has shot them down, reminding them that Congress has plenty of power — if it wants to use it. And, apart from mutinous Democrats, it doesn’t.