Congress approves border deal; Trump will sign but also declare emergency

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum

US President Donald Trump will sign a spending bill to avert a government shutdown but will also issue an emergency declaration to fund his controversial border wall, the White House and lawmakers said Thursday.

But many analysts believe that the emergency declaration will not produce a wall, owing to the aforementioned anticipated challenges in the courts and Congress.

"I've just had an opportunity to speak with President Trump", McConnell said Thursday on the Senate floor.

Pelosi stressed Thursday that the U.S. lawmakers would be prepared to respond appropriately to Trump's declaration of a national emergency, adding that they could file a legal challenge on the matter. The measure would provide more than 300 billion USA dollars to fund the Department of Homeland Security and a range of other agencies through September 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Congress moved on Thursday to pass a almost 1200-page spending bill in order to avoid another government shutdown ahead of Friday's deadline.

The bipartisan legislation would provide more than $US300 billion to fund the Department of Homeland Security and other departments through to 30 September, but without the $5.7 billion Mr Trump wanted for the border wall.

The bill would provide nearly $1.4 billion for 55 miles of additional border fencing identical to that already in place, far less than the $5.7 billion Trump had demanded before the 35-day government shutdown that began in December.

That's all related to the question of whether Trump can declare a national emergency to build a wall. Military officials are empowered under multiple statutes, following the declaration of a national emergency, to divert funding and resources "essential to the national defense" including the "use of the armed forces".

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And, as much as the president may like to spin this as a victory by other means, he still backed down in the face of Democratic resistance in Congress. It's a humanitarian challenge to us.

"The president must not repeat his mistakes of the recent past".

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. "Declare a national emergency because it is and move the money around and secure this border".

"Outlined in the National Emergencies Act of 1976, the president has the authority to declare emergencies, thus unlocking certain provisions, when the country is "threatened by crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances" other than wars or natural disasters, a 2007 report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) explains", Fox News reported.

Many have warned that they have no idea from where Trump will draw the funding.

But the new deal is set to open a fresh round of political battles and potential legal challenges with the Democrats over the national emergency declaration. Congress, Pelosi said, has the power of the federal purse, as cited in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

The top Democrat in the Senate echoed Pelosi's harsh comments. Public and private landowners along the border also would be very likely to go to court if the administration tried to seize land for the wall through the process called eminent domain. "He is doing the things that need to be done, but is not going to get this pie in the sky wall that he foolishly promised during the campaign".

A CBS News poll released on Feb 3 and conducted just after the shutdown ended in late January found that 66 per cent of Americans overall thought Mr Trump should not declare a national emergency to pay for a wall, although 73 per cent of Republicans thought he should.

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