Government shutdown: Donald Trump ready to declare national emergency to get border wall money


WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is expected to declare a national emergency Friday to get money for his promised border wall, setting the stage for a potential court battle and putting him at odds with even some lawmakers from his own party.

The White House announced on Thursday that Trump would declare a national emergency as Congress was preparing to pass a funding bill that provides $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border fencing – far less than the $5.7 billion Trump has been demanding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president is scheduled to speak from the Rose Garden about national security and the southern border at 10 a.m. EST.

“President 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,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

The Senate passed the funding bill on a 83-16 vote. The House followed a few hours later,voting 300-128 to approve the measure and send it to Trump.

Democrats and some Republican lawmakers blasted Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency – a move that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., labeled “a lawless act” and “a gross abuse of the power of the presidency.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., warned that Trump could be violating the Constitution and setting a bad precedent.

“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution,” he said.