Donald Trump to sign border bill, declare emergency to fund wall

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The spending measure must be passed by both chambers and signed by the president before midnight Friday to avoid a shutdown of about one-fourth of the government.

The White House said Mr Trump would invoke his emergency powers to requisition the full $5.7 billion he wanted for 215 miles of new border barriers after Democrats curbed funds for the wall during bipartisan negotiations. "Go into the defense bill and move money around like Congress allowed you to do a year ago and build this damn wall", Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said last night during an interview on Fox News.

Legal scholars have been grappling with the emergency question since last month, when a lengthy partial government shutdown played out amid a deadlock between Republicans and Democrats over wall funding - and an emergency declaration emerged as an option for Trump.

With polls showing the public blamed him and GOP lawmakers, Mr Trump folded on Jan 25 without getting any of the wall funds. It will be taken up by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-led Senate before going to Trump.

The House is expected to vote on the spending plan on Thursday evening.

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"If the president can declare an emergency on something that he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think what a president with different values can present to the American people", she said.

"The Appropriations panel's top Democrat, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, said that he and Shelby:understand how grownups have to act in the Congress".

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said "we're very prepared" when asked about the possibility of a legal challenge but added that she did not expect one.

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.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks at the Capitol as President Trump listens on January 9.

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Using emergency powers, Trump could reallocate federal funds from other projects to use on building a barrier. So, for all of my colleagues: the president will sign the bill. (The Atlantic has some chilling examples if you feel like losing sleep.) That's thanks, in part, to the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which gives the president the ability to bypass Congress in a broad array of emergency situations as long as he lays out his reasons for doing so. And some Republicans warn that future Democratic presidents could use his precedent to force spending on their own priorities such as gun control.

In addition to funding the Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation and other vital agencies, the bill will also send more than $54 billion overseas.

Since he ran for office in 2016, Trump has been demanding billions of dollars to build a wall on the southwest border, saying a national security crisis required a quick response to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Will the "emergency" get Trump his wall?

Some Republicans also have expressed misgivings about an emergency declaration. That does not mean Trump is happy with the deal, which provides him with even less border funding than was offered in December.

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