Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks about Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and the House's Anti-Semitism Resolution during her weekly press conference on March 7, 2019.

NEWS DIGEST – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday rejected a plan brewing in the Senate to put new controls on President Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency at the Southern border.

The legislation drafted by Senator Mike Lee could attract support from a sizable number of fellow Senate Republicans and siphon party votes for a separate, House-passed bill terminating Trump’s declaration.

At the heart of the legislative battle is billions of dollars in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that Trump is demanding though Congress has refused to fully provide.

Under the emergency declaration that Trump signed on Feb. 15, he would take money from other federal programmes to build the barrier.

There are also court challenges, asserting it is Congress, not the president that mainly decides how taxpayer money is spent.

The Senate is expected to vote on the House-passed measure sometime this week.

However, Lee’s proposal could peel off support from no less than one of four Republican senators who have said they back the House measure.

Meanwhile no fewer than four Republican senators are needed for it to pass the 100-member Senate, assuming all 45 Democrats and two independents vote in favour.

“Republican senators are proposing new legislation to allow the President to violate the Constitution just this once in order to give themselves cover.

“The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass,” Pelosi added. (Reuters/NAN)