WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will both sign the border deal aimed at thwarting a partial government shutdown while simultaneously declaring a national emergency, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the White House said Thursday.
“I’ve just had an opportunity to speak with President Trump,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “He’s indicated he’s prepared to sign the bill. He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time.”
McConnell said that he will support the emergency declaration, despite voicing hesitation over it in the past.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed McConnell’s remarks.
“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” Sanders said in a statement. “The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.”
Under the deal, which was reached by a bicameral, bipartisan committee, Republicans would secure $1.3 billion for a physical barrier or wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The money would be used to build about 55 miles of barricades in the Rio Grande Valley. In return, Democrats would obtain an agreement to limit the number of beds for detainees held at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities to about 45,000.
Both chambers are expected to vote on the deal Thursday. Without the bill, government funding will lapse after midnight on Friday for roughly 25 percent of the government.
Trump, who has long held out for $5.7 billion to fund a wall, has not previously committed to signing the agreement.
He has publicly flirted with declaring a national emergency in recent months, claiming that he has legal standing to order the construction of the wall without Congressional approval.
It will likely face fierce legal challenges.