United States President Donald Trump will issue an emergency declaration to fund his planned border wall with Mexico, AFP quoted the White House as saying on Thursday. He will also sign a spending bill to prevent another government shutdown.
Initially, Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said he had spoken with Trump over phone and he had “indicated he is prepared to sign the bill”, and “issue a national emergency declaration”. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the development soon after.
“He [Trump] will also take other executive action – including a national emergency – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” Sanders said. Trump is expected to sign the spending bill ahead of a deadline on Friday midnight.
Declaring the emergency would give Trump the freedom to redirect federal funds to pay for a wall along the Mexico border. But the move was criticised by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said Trump was doing “an end run around Congress”.
“It’s not an emergency, what’s happening at the border,” she said.
Earlier this week, US legislators had reached a tentative deal on funding for border security to avoid another government shutdown that was due to start on Saturday. The budget for the wall is far less than what Trump had initially demanded.
The wall was one of the main promises of the Trump election campaign. The disagreement over funding the wall on the border ended up in the longest government shutdown in December-January. It left more than 800,000 government workers without pay, until the shutdown ended when Trump signed a deal on January 25 to give the Congress 21 days to come up with an agreement or face further blocking of funds.