Reports are out that President Trump will sign the budget bill but simultaneously declare a national emergency.
That second part is expected to free up about $8 billion he can immediately use on the wall.
Here are the announcements:
Here're more, from Fox News:
President Trump's plans to declare a national emergency in order to fund his long-promised border wall will enable his administration to move $8 billion from various federal agencies to fund the project, a senior administration official told Fox News late Thursday.
The news comes as Trump is expected to sign a House border security package that provides $1.4 billion for the project, which is far below the $5.7 billion Trump insisted he needed and would finance just a quarter of the 200-plus miles he wanted to be defended against illegal immigrants.
Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said earlier Thursday that Trump will sign the spending bill and declare a national emergency at the same time Friday morning.
The White House said Trump would sign the legislation but act unilaterally to get more funding, prompting condemnations from Democrats and threats of lawsuits from states and others who might lose federal money or said Trump was abusing his authority.
In an unusual joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said such a declaration would be “a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract” from Trump’s failure to force Mexico to pay for the wall, as he’s promised for years.
“Congress will defend our constitutional authorities,” they said. They declined to say whether that meant lawsuits or votes on resolutions to prevent Trump from unilaterally shifting money to wall-building, with aides saying they’d wait to see what he does.
And don't forget, border wall construction has ALREADY BEGUN!
Take a look:
From the Washington Examiner:
When President Trump said Monday at a campaign rally in El Paso that, “We’ve actually started a big, big portion of the wall today at a very important location, and it’s going to go up pretty quickly over the next nine months," I assumed it was nonsense he was spreading in hopes that his supporters might not mob him on stage for so far failing to keep the central promise of his campaign.
He similarly said Tuesday at the White House, "We just started a big, big section [of wall] on the Rio Grande."
I'm happy to say I was wrong. Trump was telling the truth.
I checked in with agents at the Rio Grande Valley border sector to see if they knew what new "wall" Trump was talking about. They sent me information on construction for new border barrier announced last year. The project funds six miles-worth of concrete and steel barrier of the sort that agents told me in January is immensely successful in deterring illegal border crossings.
The wall will be supplemented by "detection technology, lighting, video surveillance, and an all-weather patrol road parallel" to the barrier, according to a release sent out by the CBP in November.
And the $145 million for it didn't come from some long-ago-passed funding bill passed under former President Barack Obama. It was included in U.S. Customs and Border Protection's budget for fiscal year 2018. Unlike other parts of new barrier construction and reparation, Trump can actually take credit for this one!