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 TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE's U.S.-Mexico border wall moments after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Top GOP lawmakers push back on need for special oversight committee for coronavirus aid Stocks move little after record-breaking unemployment claims 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 GrassleyLawmakers press IRS to get coronavirus checks to seniors Pelosi floats undoing SALT deduction cap in next coronavirus bill Democrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus 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 ShelbyInfrastructure bill gains new steam as coronavirus worsens Coronavirus bill includes more than billion in SNAP funding White House billion emergency request balloons to 2 billion in Senate coronavirus stimulus talks 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 BraunDemocrats, Trump set to battle over implementing T relief bill Senate GOP looking at ,200 in coronavirus cash payments GOP divided on next steps for massive stimulus package MORE (Ind.), Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonTrump's ambitious infrastructure vision faces Senate GOP roadblock  GOP lawmaker touts bill prohibiting purchases of drugs made in China Wisconsin Republican says US must not rely on China for critical supplies MORE (Ark.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFlorida sheriff asks for new leads in disappearance of Carole Baskin's former husband after Netflix's 'Tiger King' drops Ted Cruz jokes about quarantine boredom, 'Tiger King' Trump faces mounting pressure to unleash Defense Production Act MORE (Texas), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeJustice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Trump on Romney's negative coronavirus test: 'I am so happy I can barely speak' MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGeorgia governor says he didn't know asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus McConnell: Impeachment distracted government from coronavirus threat Warren knocks McConnell for forcing in-person Senate vote amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (Ky.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseAmerica's governors should fix unemployment insurance Mnuchin emerges as key asset in Trump's war against coronavirus House Republican urges Pompeo to take steps to limit misinformation from China on coronavirus MORE (Neb.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottHow much damage? The true cost of the Senate's coronavirus relief bill Senate unanimously passes T coronavirus stimulus package Senate rejects GOP attempt to change unemployment benefits in coronavirus stimulus bill MORE (S.C.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (Pa.).

The bill also split several 2020 White House contenders serving in the Senate, with Democratic Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Democrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Lawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act MORE (N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandLawmakers already planning more coronavirus stimulus after T package Progressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Juan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Biden associates reach out to Holder about VP search Biden confirms he's considering Whitmer for VP MORE (Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Hillicon Valley: T-Mobile, Sprint complete merger | Warren pushes food delivery apps to classify workers as full employees | Lawsuit accuses Zoom of improperly sharing user data Warren calls on food delivery apps to classify workers as full employees MORE (Mass.) voting against it.

—Jordan Fabian and Juliegrace Brufke contributed