Donald Trump to sign bill, declare emergency for border wall funding

15 February, 2019, 08:27 | Author: Bruce West
  • U.S. President Donald Trump attends a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum

The current USA budget deal includes $1.3 billion for 55 miles (88.5 kilometers) of new fencing along high-traffic border areas in the state of Texas, significantly less than the $5.7 billion Trump has sought to build the much-anticipated wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

But the declaration of a national emergency is likely to face a legal challenge. The White House had attempted earlier this week to bolster support among Trump's media allies.

At 4 p.m. D.C. time, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve the bill to avoid the shutdown.

As more details about the package emerged, conservative figures in Mr Trump's orbit voiced new displeasure at the bill.

The Democratic-controlled House was poised to pass the sweeping measure and the Republican-led Senate was expected to approve as well.

President Donald Trump plans on signing a bill to fund the federal government, averting another shut down that would take effect Friday night.

By becoming a rubber stamp for Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell has set a precedent: that he is prepared to accept any president who would treat the will of Congress, and the Constitution, with cavalier contempt.

California's Secretary of State Xavier Becerra indicated potential legal action, as did Democrats in other states.

For make no mistake, that is precisely what Mr. Trump will have done if he goes ahead with his plan.

"'Nobody wants to enter into a pointless exercise if the president will veto this", Senator John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, said before McConnell's announcement. That would have infused fresh chaos into a fight both parties are desperate to leave behind, a thought that drove some lawmakers to ask heavenly help. Mr. McConnell said he will support the president's emergency declaration.

The top Democrat in Congress immediately denounced the president's move.

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"Just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people", she said. "The National Emergencies Act was contemplated to apply to natural disasters or catastrophic events such as the attacks on our country on 9/11. (National Emergencies Act)" if Trump made such a move.

Congressional aides say there is $21 billion in military construction money that could potentially be used by Mr Trump if he declares a national emergency.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks prior to a meeting with Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez at the US Capitol in Washington on February 13, 2019.

During the State of the Union speech this month, President Trump reiterated his call for funding of a wall to block unauthorized migration along the southern border.

It would reduce US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds from about 50,000 to 40,000.

The majority of Democrats voted yes but several presidential contenders voted against it including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

The aide said it would be impossible for leaders to decide a path forward until they see what Trump does. The measure would provide more than 300 billion USA dollars to fund the Department of Homeland Security and a range of other agencies through September 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Trump triggered a 35-day-long shutdown of about a quarter of the federal government with his December demand for 5.7 billion USA dollars to help build a portion of the wall.

Democrats said the bill provides $US1 billion for the Census while housing programs will get a $US1.3 billion boost.

Trump's descriptions of the wall have fluctuated, at times saying it would cover 1,000 miles of the 2,000-mile boundary.

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