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 TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE's U.S.-Mexico border wall moments after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillary Clinton: Voter suppression has led to 'crisis in democracy' in the US New York Times authors blame Kavanaugh correction on editing error: 'There was zero intent to mislead' The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 GrassleyWe've lost sight of the real scandal Grassley: Kavanaugh classmate didn't contact Senate panel State Dept sent explosive-detection dogs to Jordan despite evidence of mistreatment: report 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 ShelbySenators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine 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 BraunOvernight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year Trump administration to repeal waterway protections Exclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan MORE (Ind.), Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant Cotton2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration Meadows, Cotton introduce bill to prevent district judges from blocking federal policy changes MORE (Ark.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzProspects for Trump gun deal grow dimmer Ted Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report 2020 Democrats call for Kavanaugh to be impeached MORE (Texas), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeExclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan Manufacturing group leads coalition to urge Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank Overnight Defense: GOP grumbles after Trump delays military projects for wall | House panel hints at subpoena for Afghanistan envoy | Kabul bombing raises doubts about Taliban talks MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul: Almost every mass shooter 'is sending off signals' Liz Cheney says world is more stable, 'safer' under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (Ky.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseManufacturing group leads coalition to urge Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank The Hill's Morning Report - Trump ousts Bolton; GOP exhales after win in NC Trump endorses Sasse in 2020 race MORE (Neb.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTo boost minority serving institutions, bipartisan Future Act needs immediate action Cruz to oppose Trump appeals court pick The Hill's Morning Report — The wall problem confronting Dems and the latest on Dorian 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 BookerOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Poll: 33 percent of voters undecided on who won third Democratic debate Jon Bon Jovi: Booker would 'do an amazing job' as president MORE (N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandAt debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR Trump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions Klobuchar, Buttigieg find themselves accidentally flying to debate together MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCalifornia poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE (Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (Mass.) voting against it.

—Jordan Fabian and Juliegrace Brufke contributed