The White House announced Thursday Feb. 14, that President Trump will support a spending bill that includes a border security package reached by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, averting another partial government shutdown. That shutdown was scheduled to begin Saturday and most likely won’t happen, but the President is expected to declare a national emergency in order to build the wall he campaigned for along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Senate passed the bipartisan spending bill Thursday 83-16. The House was expected to vote on the measure that same evening. The compromise includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new fencing along the Mexican border in Texas. Trump wants $5.7 billion for 234 miles of steel walls, a demand that led to the stalemate behind the 35-day shutdown that ended last month.
In an about face from statements he made after the previous shutdown, the President said he will go along with the spending compromise but add in some of his own terms, which could be an executive order that will be signed at the same time the bill is enacted. In effect, the order would declare a national emergency to ensure that a “national security and humanitarian crisis” at the border is stopped.
It’s an idea of declaring a national emergency that congressional members of both parties have cautioned against. If Trump goes through with the declaration, it could be blocked by a majority vote of Congress.
The $333 billion bipartisan spending bill funds a number of unrelated agencies that have become entangled in the border wall spending dispute. The bill also has restrictions where the fencing can be built and protects a butterfly refuge in the Rio Grande Valley.