Congress lopsidedly approved a border security compromise Thursday that would avert a second painful government shutdown, but a new confrontation was ignited - this time over President Donald Trump's plan to bypass lawmakers and declare a national emergency to siphon billions from other federal coffers for his wall on the Mexican boundary. Money in the bill for border barriers, about $1.4 billion, is far below the $5.7 billion Trump insisted he needed and would finance just a quarter of the 200-plus miles he wanted. The White House said he'd sign the legislation but act unilaterally to get more, prompting condemnations from Democrats and threats of lawsuits from states and others who might lose federal money or said Trump was abusing his authority. The uproar over Trump's next move cast an uncertain shadow over what had been a rare display of bipartisanship to address the grinding battle between the White House and lawmakers over border security. The Senate passed the legislation 83-16, with both parties solidly aboard. The House followed with a 300-128 tally, with Trump's signature planned Friday. Trump will speak Friday morning in the Rose Garden about border security, the White House said. House Democrats overwhelmingly backed the legislation, with only 19 - most of whom were Hispanic - opposed. Just over half of Republicans voted "no."
U.S. President Donald Trump is assailing Democrats as border security negotiations falter. Trump spoke to reporters at the White House Monday at an event attended by local sheriffs, before leaving for a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas. He said that construction on a border barrier was already under way, but said of Democrats: "we're up against people who want to allow criminals in our society." Trump said he was holding the El Paso rally "keep our country safe." Border security negotiations stalled over the weekend over Democratic demands to limit the number of migrants authorities can detain. The two sides also remained separated over how much to spend on Trump's promised border wall. Trump's Monday night rally is to take place just a few hundred yards from El Paso's border fence. Trump has repeatedly exaggerated the impact of El Paso's fencing on the city's crime rate, as well as statistics about crime committed by people who have entered the U.S. illegally. Weakened by the disastrous government shutdown and facing a fresh deadline Friday, Trump is trying to convince people that that he'll continue to push to build his long-promised wall, even though there's no way it would be anywhere near complete by the time voters have to decide whether to give him another term.
US President Donald Trump says he'll be declaring a national emergency so he can build a southern border wall. Trump did not say on Friday when he would make such a declaration, but the move will allow him to bypass Congress to spend more money to erect barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border. Congress has given Trump about $1.4 billion for border barriers, well below the $5.7 billion Trump has insisted he needed to build a wall. To get around Congress, Trump plans to use his executive authority to tap other sources of funding to get a total of $8 billion to build the wall. The White House says Trump plans to tap accounts in the Treasury and Defense departments, but not money earmarked for disaster relief.
The U.S. Congress on Thursday is set to vote on legislation to avoid a partial government shutdown and end a dispute over border security that does not include President Donald Trump’s request for $5.7 billion to help build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Chris Dignam has more.
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