McConnell: Trump to sign funding bill, declare national emergency at border

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: US President Donald Trump (L) talks to the press as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) looks on after the Republican luncheon at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump plans to sign a compromise border security measure in conjunction with declaring a national emergency to secure funding for a border wall, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell sought to reassure lawmakers unsure of the President’s position before taking a vote on the plan, which falls short of providing the $5 billion in border wall funding the President had demanded.

“He has indicated he is prepared to sign the bill. He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time,” McConnell said. “I’ve indicated to him that I’m going to support the national emergency declaration. So for all of my colleagues, the President will sign the bill, we will be voting on it shortly.”

It provided reassurance amid questions about the President’s support for the deal, which was struck by a bipartisan panel of negotiators. Aides had said earlier Thursday they were concerned Trump would reject the spending compromise — a major shift from earlier this week when officials indicated privately that he would.

Advisers said Trump had grown increasingly concerned about what is contained in the 1,100-page legislation that was released late Wednesday evening.

As more details about the package emerged, conservative figures in Trump’s orbit voiced new displeasure at the bill. That included Fox host Laura Ingraham, who tweeted earlier Thursday that Trump should not sign it. The White House had attempted earlier this week to bolster support among Trump’s media allies.

White House officials have been digesting the text since early morning and have briefed the President as they go along. The President tweeted midday he was “reviewing the funding bill with my team.”

“1,000 pages filed in the in middle of the night take a little time to go through,” one White House official told CNN’s Jim Acosta.

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