President Donald Trump plans to declare a state of emergency after he signs a budget compromise that does not meet his demands for border wall funding, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday.
Congress is working to pass a budget compromise to avert another possible government shutdown on Friday. The underlining sticking point remains funding for a security wall along the southern border.
The Senate is working on a vote at this hour.
A conference committee of lawmakers was given three weeks to reach a deal and fund the rest of the government after an earlier shutdown ended on January 25.
“I just had an opportunity to speak with President Trump and he’s prepared to sign the bill,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on Thursday. “He will also be signing a national emergency declaration at the same time.”
The Senate is about to vote on the proposal before passing it along to the House, where it is expected to pass. Trump will then get the chance to sign the proposal.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), hearing about the president’s plans on Thursday afternoon, said in a press conference that if Trump were to declare a national emergency, that would in essence be doing “an end run” around Congress and that she and others then would evaluate their response to that.
Trump was not happy with the proposal at first when he saw an unfinished version on Tuesday. Lawmakers from both parties urged the president to sign it but he was still undecided within hours of the Senate vote.
Trump has floated the idea of declaring a state of emergency since the latter half of the recent shutdown. He has said during press conferences and meetings that he might if talked fail. The move could possibly allow the president to free up billions in emergency funds for the security wall through the National Emergencies Act.
But he is also likely to face lawsuits, too.
The compromise provides $22.54 billion in total border security funding, which includes $1.375 billion for 55 new miles of physical barriers along the southwest border. Trump has demanded a lot more money — $5.7 billion — for the construction of the southern border wall. It also funds remaining parts of the federal government through the fiscal year to September 30.
Trump said late last year that he would not sign any more spending bills that did not include funding for his border wall.
But his plan has spawned a vicious political dispute that caused a government shutdown and potentially threatens another one. But the president eventually backed away from his veto threat by signing the short-term bill on January 25.
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