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 TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border 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) GaetzLewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing State probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws Five takeaways on Trump's ouster of John Bolton 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 GrangerLobbying world House approves bill increasing federal worker pay House approves 3 billion spending package MORE (R-Texas) said on the floor ahead of the vote.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyCongress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure Overnight Defense: Trump says Taliban talks 'dead' after canceled Camp David meeting | North Korea offers to restart nuke talks this month | Trump denies role in Air Force crew staying at his resort McConnell: Short-term spending bill needed to avoid shutdown 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 Graves5 Republicans who could replace Isakson in Georgia's Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks Democrats see golden opportunity to take Georgia Senate seat 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 McConnellDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Democrats press for action on election security Hillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill 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: Democrats will 'certainly' beat Trump in 2020 Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Lewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall 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 McCarthyGOP struggles with retirement wave Trump touts Washington Post story on GOP support Pence extends olive branch to Cummings after Trump's Baltimore attacks 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.