WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - Hard-fought legislation that gives President Donald Trump 55 additional miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border - short of what he requested - is on the way to his desk after a bipartisan House vote.
Image Source: Pixabay / U.S. Customs and Border Protection / MGN
The bill also closes a chapter by preventing a second government shutdown at midnight Friday and by providing $333 billion to finance several Cabinet agencies through September.
Trump has indicated he'll sign the measure though he is not happy with it, and for a few hours Thursday he was reportedly having second thoughts.
The White House has announced Trump will declare a national emergency that would enable him to transfer funding from other accounts for additional miles of border fencing.
Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham voted against the spending bill.
"This bill limits the number of illegal immigrants we can detain and falls well short of adequate funding for a border wall. I couldn't vote for something that's going to dictate to the President whether or not he can protect our borders and keep our country safe."
He also said that he supports President Trump's intent to declare a national emergency to help build a border wall.
"If President Trump needs to declare a national emergency to keep out the drugs and gangs, so be it because it's pretty clear that Democrats' only goal is to score political points with their radical open-borders base, even if it means sacrificing national security."
Congressman Mike Johnson released this statement regarding the bill as well:
“We have many concerns about this legislation, beginning with the process. The conference committee members were given just one hour to approve nearly 1,200 pages of text, the final bill was filed after 1 a.m., and members are expected to vote on it tonight. This legislation encompasses about a quarter of federal discretionary spending and will directly affect all Americans. Yet, I dare say not a single lawmaker voting for it today will have even read the bill. We know how that turned out with Obamacare, and now we are basing the security of our nation on the same failed, 'pass it to see what is in it,' system. This is unacceptable. Additionally, key provisions of the bill fail to provide the necessary resources to secure our border and protect the American people. Border funding is well below the president’s requests, and the number of illegal immigrants ICE can detain is being reduced, which will undoubtedly lead to more ‘catch and release’ policies. We made a promise to the American people that we would secure our border, and this bill falls far short of that goal.”