Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday afternoon that Donald Trump plans to sign a federal government spending package that reflects compromises over his US-Mexico border wall, adding that Trump will also declare a national state of emergency. Team Trump intends to use the phony emergency declaration to obtain more money for The Wall.
The military is already rummaging around in the sofa looking for spare change.
BREAKING: Congressional aides say DOD has $21B in unobligated military construction funds @POTUS can dip into if he declares a national emergency. That is astronomically higher than the number DOD was giving a few weeks back – $2-3B. Background: https://t.co/aJvRFV6OKn
— Lara Seligman (@laraseligman) February 14, 2019
Shortly after McConnell broke the news, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the same in a statement on Twitter.
Statement on Government Funding Bill: pic.twitter.com/DrNv9D4rEi
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) February 14, 2019
"It's not an emergency at the border, it's a humanitarian challenge," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a response minutes later to reporters.
Pelosi accused Trump of trying to do an "end run around" congressional oversight.
"You want to talk about a national emergency? How about gun violence? Why don't you declare that a national emergency, Mr. President?," asked Pelosi, referencing the fact that today is the one-year anniversary since the Parkland shooting in Florida.
"Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day," Pelosi said to reporters at the end of her remarks. "All you need is love and chocolate."
Nancy Pelosi says she may file a legal challenge if Trump declares a national emergency. Via Politico pic.twitter.com/KKsmIlSN5u
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 14, 2019
From coverage at NBC News:
"I just had an opportunity to speak with President Trump and he's prepared to sign the bill," McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor. "He will also be signing a national emergency declaration at the same time."
After the Senate votes, the House is also expected to pass the spending package.
This came after Trump said earlier in the day that he was still reviewing the bill. In the morning, Republican senators had said that they "pray" Trump signs it into law, averting another government shutdown on Friday.
The Senate is expected to act first on the 1,159-page bill, which was released just after midnight. The House will likely vote later in the evening, ahead of the Friday night deadline to prevent another partial government shutdown.
Trump has said he is not "happy" with the measure, though he has been expected to sign it. "Reviewing the funding bill with my team at the @WhiteHouse!" he tweeted Thursday afternoon, ahead of the Senate vote.
The bill would provide $1.375 billion for 55 miles of pedestrian and levee fencing in the Rio Grande Valley, significantly less than Trump's $5.7 billion request. It also prohibits the use of a concrete wall or other Trump prototypes and specifies that only "existing technologies" for fencing and barriers can be used.
Fox News started urging Trump to declare a national emergency over the border wall weeks ago https://t.co/Z2h99w2gHJ
— Leanne Naramore (@LeanneNaramore) February 14, 2019
WOW. After hours of limbo in Senate, McConnell suddenly appears on the floor — interrupting Grassley, who snaps about it — and says Trump will sign the spending/border bill and declare a national emergency.
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) February 14, 2019
If I'm a major oil, coal or gun company I'd be shitting my pants given the precedent Trump & McConnell are setting with the National Emergency declaration. Could destroy their industries come a Democratic White House in 2021
— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) February 14, 2019
This national emergency is on the one year anniversary of the Parkland shooting, and it is not about that.
This national emergency is on the two year anniversary of Trump asking Comey to ignore a Trump campaign official's lies about Russia, and it's not about that either.
— Jay Welch (@welchjay) February 14, 2019
A national emergency declaration could face a battle in court. Some lawmakers also fear that it could set a precedent for future presidents to use this tactic to fund their agendas.
— Armando Tonatiuh Torres-García (@GarciaReports) February 14, 2019
let's check in with Secretary Coulter https://t.co/Zge91px0j5
— J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) February 14, 2019
The declaration of a "national emergency" will not get Trump a wall, and could trigger a vote that could force him to issue his first veto. But it may allow him to use the courts as a scapegoat for his inability to secure funding for his wall. https://t.co/JwWWHeXXL3
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) February 14, 2019
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) February 14, 2019
"The precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be greeted with great unease and dismay by the Republicans and we'll respond accordingly," says @SpeakerPelosi.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 14, 2019
"And secure our great country." The last 5 words of Sarah Sanders' statement just now on the national emergency for the wall. You can always smell Stephen Miller's Nazi paw-prints, can't you.
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) February 14, 2019
As Trump prepares to sign a national emergency to fund a border wall, a look at the legality of his move. Could it be challenged in courts? Very likely: https://t.co/vyKOOgQrRT
— Kurtis Lee (@kurtisalee) February 14, 2019
There's quite a long ways between "Mexico will pay for the wall" to "I will declare a national emergency to fund the wall because the United States Congress won't give me the money I want.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) February 14, 2019
a national emergency getting declared via the notes app feels like a new level for something normally used for celeb apologies https://t.co/RaLIeGDNpv
— David Mack (@davidmackau) February 14, 2019
"I think it's ridiculous," Kamala Harris on a national emergency declaration
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 14, 2019