Trump to Sign Border Bill and Declare Emergency, McConnell Says

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President Donald Trump is ready to sign compromise spending legislation that would avert another government shutdown and will declare a national emergency to get additional funds for a border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

McConnell said the Senate will vote on the plan at 3:30 Washington time Thursday. The House is set to vote later in the evening.

The president “has indicated he’s prepared to sign the bill,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “He also will be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time. I indicated to him I’m going to support the national emergency declaration.”

Some Republican senators had balked at voting on the bipartisan measure until they got a signal from the president on whether he would back it.

“Nobody wants to enter into a pointless exercise if the president will veto this,” Senator John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, said before McConnell’s announcement.

The plan provides $1.375 billion for 55 new miles of fending on the U.S.-Mexico border, far short of the $5.7 billion in wall money the president sought to fulfill a campaign promise, and provides funding for nine federal departments through the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30. Trump’s administration has been examining how to use executive authority to shift money from other government accounts to put more money into border barriers.

The spending measure must be passed by both chambers and signed by the president before midnight Friday to avoid a shutdown of about one-fourth of the government.