Federal Relations

February 14, 2019

Trump to Sign Spending Bill, Then Declare National Emergency

Late this afternoon, the Senate cleared by a vote of 83 to 16 the spending package that would fund the entire government for the rest of the fiscal year (the text of the conference report is available here). The Senate moved to vote on the bill even as the Members were unclear as to whether the President would actually sign it.

To end the drama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on the Senate floor to announce that President Trump would sign the bill, which does not contain the $5.7 billion requested by the President for a concrete wall.  While declaring that the bill would be signed by the President, McConnell also added that President Trump also plans to declare a national emergency, in an attempt to find additional ways to construct the wall.  A number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have expressed reservations about such a move, as they are concerned that a future Democratic president might declare a national emergency for other issues, such as gun violence or climate change.  If and when a national emergency is declared, various lawsuits are expected to be filed, challenging that declaration.

The House is scheduled to take up the measure later this evening.

Read more about the developments herehere, and here.

We will provide details from the conference report shortly.