House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency

The House voted Thursday night to approve a border security deal that prevents a new government shutdown in a 300-128 vote.

The vote sets up President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE to sign the legislation — and to declare a national emergency as a way of getting more federal funds for his wall on the Mexican border.

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The House-passed legislation falls far short of Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for a wall on the Mexican border, and Trump is likely to sign the legislation somewhat reluctantly.

Conservative pundits have lambasted the deal worked out by appropriators, and the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday night largely voted against it.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham said in a string of tweets that Trump “must not” sign the legislation. And a group of conservative members sent a letter to Trump urging him to take executive action should he feel the need to sign the bill.

Both parties lost votes from a sizable number of members from their respective parties who took issue with certain concessions in the bill, with 109 Republicans and 19 Democrats voting no.

The defectors were largely conservatives and progressive members. Only 87 Republicans voted yes.

Some conservatives were swayed to vote for the bill by Trump's plan to declare a national emergency, including GOP Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGOP Mueller critic says Flynn contacted him during special counsel probe: report 2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group MORE (Fla.).

Negotiators on both sides of the aisle said there were portions of the bill they weren't pleased with, but felt they ultimately came out with a fair compromise providing victories for both sides.

"While this bill falls short of what I'd like to see, it will provide our Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and customs enforcement agents the tools necessary to continue combatting the threat we face," House Appropriations Ranking Member Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerDemocrats advance more spending bills, defying Trump budget requests Chances for disaster aid deal slip amid immigration fight Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds MORE (R-Texas) said on the floor ahead of the vote.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyDemocrats advance more spending bills, defying Trump budget requests Congress reaches deal on disaster aid Chances for disaster aid deal slip amid immigration fight MORE (D-N.Y.) had similar sentiments, saying they managed to "put politics aside and put the American people first."

But not all appropriators were satisfied with the outcome of the agreement. Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesRepublicans spend more than million at Trump properties Congressional panel calls for lobbying disclosure reforms Mnuchin tells Congress it's 'premature' to talk about Trump tax returns decision MORE (R-Ga.) said he had hoped for additional funding for the wall, adding he was dissatisfied with time allotted for members to review what was in the 1,000-plus page bill.

"I think it shows the inadequacy of this bill," he told The Hill of the need to declare a national emergency.

The legislation, which was released just before midnight on Wednesday, includes funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of barrier in the Rio Grande Valley.

Congress passed the measure just one day before current funding was set to expire at midnight. Uncertainty over whether Trump would sign the bill lasted through early-afternoon, with members expressing concern they were at risk of a second partial government shutdown in two months.

The Senate passed the legislation in an 83-16 vote Thursday afternoon, shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval MORE (R-Ky.) announced he had spoken to the president who was willing to support the measure. He also announced his support for Trump's decision to declare a national emergency in order to build a border barrier.

While Trump’s vow to declare a national emergency is being welcomed by conservatives, members on both sides of the aisle expressed concerns it could set a bad precedent.

“Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Hillary Clinton slams Trump for spreading 'sexist trash' about Pelosi Hillicon Valley: Facebook won't remove doctored Pelosi video | Trump denies knowledge of fake Pelosi videos | Controversy over new Assange charges | House Democrats seek bipartisan group on net neutrality MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNo agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Ex-White House photographer roasts Trump: 'This is what a cover up looked like' under Obama Pelosi: Trump 'is engaged in a cover-up' MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement.

“It is yet another demonstration of President Trump’s naked contempt for the rule of law. This is not an emergency, and the president’s fearmongering doesn’t make it one.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRepublicans spend more than million at Trump properties The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi fires back in feud with Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes MORE (R-Calif.) said he supports Trump's decision to declare a national emergency.

"We face a humanitarian and national security crisis at the border that must be addressed and the President’s declaration is merely a statement of fact. With the declaration and other legal authorities, the President has access to important tools to take the steps necessary to secure the border."

 

The bill will keep the government funded through Sept. 30.