Trump will sign spending bill but end-run Congress to build wall

Lynn Cook
February 15, 2019

Congressional aides said House Democrats were expected to file a lawsuit when Trump declares a national emergency in order to protect the House's constitutional powers to decide how us taxpayers' money is appropriated. "He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time", Mr. McConnell said.

The legislation would provide more than $US300 billion to fund the Department of Homeland Security and a range of other agencies through September 30.

The bill would give federal civilian workers a 1.9 per cent pay raise, overriding a pay freeze signed by Trump during the shutdown.

Trump's signing of the funding bill, once it is approved by both Senate and the House, will mean that another partial government shutdown will be averted.

The declaration, should Mr Trump carry it out, will prevent a second bruising government shutdown but set the President and Congress up for further clashes down the road.

The bill allocating just $1.3 billion for a barrier along the US-Mexico border - a far cry from the $5.7 billion requested by Trump - has been approved by the Senate and is now going through the House. That is the same level of funding Congress appropriated for border security measures past year, including barriers, but not concrete walls. "You want to talk about a national emergency?"

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"When the president invents an emergency in order to fund a project that Congress has explicitly declined to fund, that's an effort to undermine the constitutional allocation of powers", she wrote in the post, which was updated January 31.

In a joint statement, the top congressional Democrats said that "declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act" and "a gross abuse of the power of the Presidency".

"Of course, we will respond accordingly", Pelosi added. "Let's all pray that the president will have the wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn't shut down", Grassley said.

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. "It's not an emergency", she said, "what's happening at the border". "This legislation represents a bipartisan compromise and will keep our government open while funding key priorities".

"When the President invents an emergency in order to fund a project that Congress has very explicitly declined to fund, that's an effort to undermine the constitutional allocation of powers", she said in a question-and-answer on the Brennan Center's website.

Ms Pelosi has not indicated whether House Democrats planned to legally challenge the president.

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"The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country".

"Right now they are not saying whether or not the president is going to sign this".

Mr. Trump's declaration will be governed by the National Emergencies Act.

"Just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people. I predict he'll find a way to get the money to build the wall", he tweeted Wednesday morning. Senate Armed Services chairman Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma said he warned Trump not to touch military construction funds, but he could live with using Army Corps funds.

Aides had said earlier they were concerned Mr Trump would reject the spending compromise - a major shift from earlier this week when officials indicated privately that he would.

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