A bill providing $1.375 billion for a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border easily cleared Congress on Thursday and is heading to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it and then declare a national emergency to get more funding for his promised border 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,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
The stunning announcement came just before the Senate voted 83-16 to approve the funding measure, which will avert another government shutdown and offer $1.375 billion for a 55-mile border barrier – much less than the $5.7 billion that Trump has demanded for a wall along the southern border.
Hours later, the Housevoted 300-128 to approve thebill and send it to Trump.
Trump is expected to sign the measure on Friday and at the same time declare a national emergency to access additional funds for a border wall. Late Thursday, the White House announced the president would be making remarks about national security and the southern border in the Rose Garden at 10 a.m. EST.
His decision to declare a national emergency angered Democrats and even some members of his own party and set the stage for a possible legal challenge.
At a news conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., railed against the possibility of Trump declaring a national emergency, saying Republicans “should have some dismay to the door that they are opening, the threshold they are crossing.”
“The precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans and, of course, we will respond accordingly,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi said an emergency declaration opens the door for other presidents to do “an end run around Congress.”