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 TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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) GaetzTrump: I told Republicans to vote for 'transparency' in releasing Mueller report House votes for Mueller report to be made public Matt Gaetz jabs Don Lemon while talking to Chris Cuomo on CNN 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 GrangerOn The Money: Trump issues first veto, warning of 'reckless' resolution | US hits Russia with new sanctions | Dems renew push for contractor back pay | Lawmakers seek probe into undocumented workers at Trump businesses House Dems renew push for government contractor back pay The Hill's Morning Report — Cohen testimony turns up heat on Trump associates MORE (R-Texas) said on the floor ahead of the vote.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyStop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave Bottom Line Left-wing Dems in minority with new approach to spending 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 GravesLawmakers contemplate a tough political sell: Raising their pay House Republicans find silver lining in minority The 23 Republicans who voted against the anti-hate resolution 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 McConnellTrump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' McConnell calls McCain a 'rare patriot' and 'American hero' after Trump criticism 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiRisk-averse Republicans are failing the republic The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight Trump, Saturday Night Live and why autocrats can't take a joke MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Why we need to build gateway now 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 McCarthyOvernight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide GOP lawmakers: House leaders already jockeying for leadership contests 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.