Trump will sign funding bill and declare national emergency in attempt to fund border wall

Reuters

The only national emergency in America is Trump.

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.

Shortly after McConnell broke the news, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the same in a statement on Twitter.

“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.”

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.