DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser says he will join a lawsuit with more than a dozen other states to stop President Donald Trump from using an emergency declaration to fund a border wall.
“We in Colorado have a lot to lose right now. There could be money that’s supposed to be spent here that’s going to be shifted to build a border wall outside of the Constitutionally prescribed process.”
The emergency declaration redirects money allocated for military construction to the wall. It could impact about $100 million earmarked for a training center, vehicle maintenance shop and mountaineering facility at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs alone.
Several dozen Coloradans used Presidents Day to protest the president and his emergency declaration. They gathered outside the Colorado Capitol in Denver chanting “He’s the emergency!”
Weiser joined them, saying the President’s action is unnecessary and unconstitutional.
“In Colorado, we will be on the side of the rule of law,” he said.
Weiser says the U.S. Constitution gives Congress, not the President, control over spending. But under a law passed in 1976, the president can redirect Congressional appropriations in an emergency. The law doesn’t define “emergency.”
Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican and Colorado’s junior senator, has not taken a position on whether the president’s decision is warranted.
“We certainly have a challenge at the border and that’s why I want to understand the legal ramifications of this,” he said.
Gardner says he’s seeking legal advice on whether the president’s emergency declaration is permissible.
“We’re looking into the laws surrounding this, understanding the regulations and the code, and how this would move forward if it does.”
Congressional Democrats and even some Republicans say they will vote to overturn the president’s decision. Trump says he will veto any effort to stop him.
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