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Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown

The Senate approved legislation Thursday that would prevent a new government shutdown and provide money for President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE's U.S.-Mexico border wall moments after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight MORE (R-Ky.) announced that Trump would also sign an emergency declaration over the southern border.

The 83-16 vote in the Senate came after several hours of drama, with increasing chatter about whether Trump would actually sign the deal, which funds a quarter of the government that was poised to run out of funding starting on Saturday.

The bill now heads to the House, which is expected to vote on it later Thursday evening and send it to Trump’s desk for his signature.

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The vote came as aides and lawmakers remained in the dark throughout Thursday about whether or not Trump would sign the agreement, which was struck by a bipartisan conference committee earlier this week.

McConnell ended that suspense a little after 3 p.m., when he interrupted a Senate floor speech to announce that Trump would sign the border deal but also declare a national emergency.

“I had an opportunity to speak with President Trump and he, I would say to all my colleagues, has indicated he's prepared to sign the bill,” McConnell said. “He also [will] be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time. I indicated I'm going to support the national emergency declaration.”

The White House also released a statement confirming that Trump "will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border."

"The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the statement.

The legislation would prevent the second partial government shutdown in as many months. The first, which lasted 35 days over December and January, was the longest in U.S. history.

The new legislation would fund roughly a quarter of the federal government through Sept. 30.

In addition to funding for roughly a quarter of the government, the bill includes $1.375 billion for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border including 55 miles of fencing. That’s below the $5.7 billion Trump requested or the $1.6 billion included in the Senate’s spending measure for the Department of Homeland Security.

Fears that Trump might not sign the bill even as the Senate and House prepared to approve it were widespread on Thursday.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyRep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Loeffler to continue to self-isolate after conflicting COVID-19 test results MORE (R-Iowa) opened the Senate by asking his colleagues to pray that Trump would sign it.

“Let's all pray that the president will have wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn’t shut down,” Grassley said.

Republicans emerged from a closed-door caucus lunch largely in the dark about Trump’s intentions.

“I hope that one, we’ll pass the bill in the Senate and then the House with good margin, and then the president will sign it,” said Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Trump, Pelosi barrel toward final border wall showdown On The Money: Push for student loan forgiveness puts Biden in tight spot | Trump is wild card as shutdown fears grow | Mnuchin asks Fed to return 5 billion in unspent COVID emergency funds MORE (R-Ala.), who spoke with Trump on Wednesday night.

But the funding bill also sparked backlash from conservatives, some of whom publicly urged Trump not to sign it.

Top conservative pundits bashed the bill on Thursday, sparking fresh questions about if Trump would sign the legislation. Fox News host Laura Ingraham said in a string of tweets that Trump “must not” sign it.

Several Republican senators voted against the funding deal, which was filed around midnight Wednesday: GOP Sens. Mike BraunMichael BraunMeadows meets with Senate GOP to discuss end-of-year priorities McConnell reelected as Senate GOP leader GOP faces fundraising reckoning as Democrats rake in cash MORE (Ind.), Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonO'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection More conservatives break with Trump over election claims MORE (Ark.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE (Texas), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus Overnight Defense: Formal negotiations inch forward on defense bill with Confederate base name language | Senators look to block B UAE arms sales | Trump administration imposes Iran sanctions over human rights abuses MORE (Ky.), Ben SasseBen SasseTrump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right Whoopi Goldberg blasts Republicans not speaking against Trump: 'This is an attempted coup' MORE (Neb.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDemocrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps GOP senators congratulate Harris on Senate floor MORE (S.C.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy MORE (Pa.).

The bill also split several 2020 White House contenders serving in the Senate, with Democratic Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE (N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Mexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized MORE (Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach No, the government cannot seize, break or 'bypass' pharmaceutical patents — even for COVID-19 MORE (Mass.) voting against it.

—Jordan Fabian and Juliegrace Brufke contributed