Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to propose border legislation and avoid a repeat government shutdown, but it seems President Donald Trump is less than thrilled with their solution.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed that while the president does plan to sign the bipartisan spending package, he is displeased with the low amount of border funding, and will declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border shortly after the bill becomes law.
“He is prepared to sign the bill,” McConnell said, according to Politico. “He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time.”
Pundits had suggested that this approach could be a possible “third way” for Trump to both avoid a shutdown, which loomed Friday if no deal was signed, while also using executive power to get his way on the much-touted border wall.
The president himself seemed to confirm that this was a path he was considering.
“Trump has indicated that he doesn’t want to see the government shuttered, saying Wednesday that ‘a shutdown would be a terrible thing,'” Politico reported. “But he also hinted that he’d try to go around Congress to fund his much-sought after border wall, possibly through an executive order.”
Trump has stood firm on his request for $5.7 billion to fund physical barriers and other border security upgrades in key areas. However, the bipartisan bill headed for his desk only appropriates a quarter of that amount.
“The bill includes $1.37 billion for 55 miles of physical barrier along the southern border in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas,” Politico explained.
For his part, Leader McConnell called the lower amount a “down payment” toward border security, while several of the most left-leaning Democrats in Congress refused to support even this smaller number.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib — all leftist Democrats — announced they would break from their party’s leadership and not vote for the compromise.
“The Department of Homeland Security does not deserve an increase in funding, and that is why we intend to vote no on this funding package,” they wrote in a joint statement.
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