On Friday February 15th, Donald Trump brazenly declared a state of emergency on the US southern border and subsequently redirected over $6.6B to construct 234 miles of barriers. The diversion of funds comes from money appropriated by Congress for the military: $3.6B from a military construction fund, $2.5B from a Pentagon drug prevention program, and $600M from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund.
Appropriation of funds by the US House of Representatives is one of the most important roles performed of the chamber. By declaring a national emergency, Trump is abusing his power as the President to bypass Congress to fund his pet project. After the longest government shutdown in US history and weeks of negotiation, Congress struck a bipartisan deal on February 11th that included $1.375B for Trump’s wall, a far cry from the $5.7B he demanded. Backed into a corner, Trump has declared the emergency to appease his base, ignoring the dubious constitutional standing or the harm diverting funds might incur.
It is now time for Congress to act regardless of party afiliation. This power grab by Trump is inexcusable and must be met with sharp resistance and repercussion.
Three calls to make: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, and Representative Richmond or Scalise
Senator Bill Cassidy: DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office: 504-838-0130; Monroe: 318-324-2111; Lake Charles: 337-493-5398; Alexandria: 318-448-7176
Senator John Kennedy: DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans: 504-581-6190; Lafayette: (337) 269-5980; Monroe: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport: (318) 670-5192
Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative. If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.
Representative Cedric Richmond - in DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504) 288-3777
Representative Steve Scalise - in DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259
Hello. My name is [Your Name] and I'm an active voter from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [Or wherever you’re from].
I’m calling today because I’m outraged at Trump's declaration of a national emergency. He is clearly abusing his power by both declaring this emergency and redirecting funds appropriated by Congress to his pet wall project. I expect the [ senator / representative ] to act immediately to challenge the emergency by using powers granted under the National Emergencies Act.
Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.
This call is adapted from 5calls.org, which can be viewed here.