President Trump will sign a funding bill to avert another government shutdown, but will also declare a national emergency to fund his desired border wall, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. In a statement, Sanders said Trump will sign the bill and “take other executive action—including a national emergency—to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.” “The president is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” Sanders wrote. Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump told him he intended to declare the national emergency. “And I’ve indicated to him that I’m going to support the national emergency declaration,” he added. A funding bill has to be signed before the government runs out of money at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, otherwise the government will again enter a shutdown—just weeks after the longest-ever shutdown ended in late January. The previous shutdown occurred over a dispute in border wall funding, with Trump demanding $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she might pursue a legal challenge to the declaration. Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a joint statement saying: “Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall.”