President Trump told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell his plan for funding the delayed border wall.
Trump will sign border bill, McConnell says, and declare national emergency originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
In a surprise development Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor that President Donald Trump told him he would sign a border security funding bill that would avert a government shutdown, but also would declare a national emergency in order to get more funding for his proposed border wall.
McConnell’s announcement came just before a Senate vote on the measure, which the House is scheduled to vote on Thursday evening.
Many Republicans, including McConnell, had advised the president against declaring a national emergency., which is a challenge Congress’ “power of the purse” — the power to decide how and where taxpayer money is spent.
(MORE: President Trump wants to declare a national emergency over the border. Can he do that? )
A few minutes later, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to word that Trump would declare a national emergency, saying, “I hope he won’t. That would be a very wrong thing to do.”
(MORE: Trump considering declaring national emergency in an effort to secure wall funding )
Shortly after Schumer spoke, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that Trump would make the moves.
“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.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacted by saying, “It’s not an emergency — what’s happening at the border.”
She accused the president of selling the country “a bill of goods” and of trying to make “an end run around Congress.”
She might pursue a legal challenge, she said, calling it “an option.”
Trump had previously said he was reserving judgment on whether he’ll sign the measure until he sees the final text, though the president has indicated he was warming to the deal after receiving a briefing Tuesday on its parameters from Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican negotiating on behalf of his party.
“We’re looking for landmines,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday. “A shutdown would be a terrible thing. I think a point was made with the last shutdown. People realized how bad the border is, how unsafe the border is and I think a lot of good points were made, but I don’t want to see another one.”
While the bill includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new physical barriers, it doesn’t include funds for the “big, beautiful wall” prototypes the president touted on the campaign trail.
In remarks to the Major County Sheriffs and Mayor Cities Chiefs Association Joint Conference in Washington, Trump again played up how much work has already been done towards building the wall he promised to supporters, at one point riffing that a person would have to “be able to climb Mount Everest” to be able to get through the barriers being built.