WASHINGTON – After three weeks of negotiations with Senate, President Donald Trump approved legislation that provides $1.4 for new barriers along the U.S. Mexico border, averting a second government shutdown.
The border security package allocates enough to build just 50 miles of barricades, not the 200 miles plus the president intended to construct with $5.7 billion he requested in December.
But Trump is preparing to take the extraordinary step of declaring a national emergency to obtain funding for the completion of his long-proposed border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R -KY) explained ahead of a Senate vote on the legislation to keep the government running past the February 15 deadline.
“He’s prepared to sign the bill, he will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time,” McConnel said.”I will support the
The deal keeps the government running through the fiscal year, but without the $5.7 billion Trump requested for the border wall with Mexico.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed in a statement that Trump will sign the funding bill and take executive action to build the wall.
“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” Sanders said in a statement. “The president is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.”
Statement on Government Funding Bill: pic.twitter.com/DrNv9D4rEi
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) February 14, 2019
The border security compromise passed 83 – 16 in the Senate and now heads to the House for a vote.
The Democrat-controlled House will likely pass the measure, but they are reviewing legal options to bar the president from declaring a national emergency to build the wall and fulfill his core campaign promise.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she “may” take legal action against Trump if he declares an emergency and claimed Trump’s insistence of open borders posing a threat to national is an exaggeration.
“I may, that’s an option. We will review our options,” Pelosi told reporters. “But it’s important to note that when the president declares this emergency, first of all, it’s not an emergency. What’s happening at the border is a humanitarian challenge to us. The president trying to sell a bill of goods.
The administration is “very prepared” for legal challenges,” Sanders told reporters, following Pelosi’s remarks. “There shouldn’t be any. The president is doing his job. Congress should do theirs.”
The border security agreement must be approved by both houses of Congress and signed by Trump by 11:59 pm Friday, another partial government shutdown will begin and hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be furloughed.