President Donald Trump will sign a spending bill to keep the government open and at the same time declare a national emergency at the border, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.
McConnell spoke from the Senate floor after Trump said on Twitter he was reviewing the bill with his team at the White House. Trump has discussed using an emergency declaration to build a proposed wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, a move that’s certain to provoke a brawl with Congress and perhaps in the courts.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump would sign the bill and “take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.”
“The president is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” Sanders said.
The measure passed the Senate on Thursday afternoon by an 83-16 vote, and the House approved it Thursday night with a 300-128 tally. Republicans including Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida voted against it.
Kentucky Republican McConnell said he’d back Trump on declaring an emergency. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, tweeted earlier this week that Trump should act on his own after the deal struck by congressional negotiators gave Trump much less money than he wanted for border security.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said an emergency declaration would be a “very wrong thing to do.”
There were signs of some conservative dissent as pundit Ann Coulter tweeted a national emergency “won’t help.”
“It’s over if he signs this bill!” she wrote. Coulter’s opposition to a deal in December has been called one of the main reasons Trump decided then to dig in on a shutdown fight.
Without passage of the agreement by Congress and a signature by Trump, parts of the government would shut down early Saturday morning. That would follow a 35-day government shutdown that ended Jan. 25.
Trump has said he isn’t thrilled with the deal, which includes $1.38 billion for 55 new miles of physical barriers. That’s much less than the $5.7 billion Trump had demanded to build a border wall.
rose earlier this week on hopes of avoiding a shutdown and progress in China trade talks, but mostly fell Thursday afternoon in the wake of worse-than-forecast economic data.