Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration to block the $1.6 trillion spending package, which he says was passed unconstitutionally.
“If we’re going to start just ignoring the provisions of the Constitution, then we don’t have a constitution,” Paxton told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview. “Under Nancy Pelosi, for the first time in our history, they ignored the quorum.”
Paxton filed an injunction this week to prevent the Biden administration from implementing the budget act, saying that if it were blocked it would prevent millions in taxpayer dollars from going to illegal immigrants in Texas.
When the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 was passed in December 2022, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., allowed 226 members of Congress to vote by proxy, under a rule created in 2020 that allows lawmakers to “designate another Member as a proxy.”
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Paxton says that Pelosi’s rule violated the Quorum Clause, which requires the majority of the House to be present on the floor when Congress is conducting business.
“‘Quorum’ means ‘quorum.’ There’s no other way of getting around it,” Paxton said. “If you didn’t have a quorum, you never did it correctly. It was passed illegally, and it was signed illegally.”
One obstacle to Paxton’s lawsuit is the Enrollment Rule, which prevents challenges to bills that are “enrolled” in official House or Senate documents.
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However, Paxton says that the “Enrollment Rule does not override a constitutional provision.”
“There’s nothing to stop him other than the lawsuit.”
In his press release, Paxton says that “the consequences of their lawlessness and deception are going to be felt all across our state. It is crucial that our legal system stop these acute harms–such as the millions of dollars facilitating illegal immigration– from being imposed on Texans.”
The Lone Star State is at the front lines of the border crisis, with Customs and Border Protection estimating a record 2.6 million migrant encounters at the southern border this fiscal year.
While the legal process for the injunction hangs in the balance, Paxton tells Fox News Digital that it would be a “win” if Texas were to receive relief for the mounting cost of the illegal immigration, which he says is in the billions.
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“It would be a win if our part of it didn’t have to be paid, and we’re protected from that cost. Certainly, that’s a win for the people of Texas, but it’s still a loss for the country and a loss for my state,” said Paxton.