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 TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far 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) GaetzBottom Line Graham: Trump has 'all the legal authority in the world' to pardon Stone Meghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' 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 GrangerHouse rejects GOP resolution condemning Pelosi for ripping up Trump's speech McCarthy to submit copy of Trump's SOTU address to House Clerk for archives The Hill's Campaign Report: Ten days to Iowa MORE (R-Texas) said on the floor ahead of the vote.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyTrump faces growing challenge to contain coronavirus White House asking Congress for .5 billion to fight coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report: Roger Stone gets over three years in prison; Brutal night for Bloomberg 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 GravesThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Republican Tom Graves announces retirement from House Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms 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 McConnellRepublicans give Barr vote of confidence Democrats block two Senate abortion bills VA could lead way for nation on lower drug pricing 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 PelosiOcasio-Cortez: Trump would 'never' say to her face some of the shots he takes at her on Twitter Oversight Committee room to be dedicated to late Rep. Elijah Cummings Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response Democrats block two Senate abortion bills 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 McCarthyFive takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders comes under fire over cost of 'Medicare for All' Trump's intel moves spark Democratic fury 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.