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US House Passes Border Security Funding Bill - Reports

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday 300 to 128 to approve federal funding bill on border security to avert another US government shutdown. The measure reportedly was sent to US President Donald Trump's desk for the enactment.

The bipartisan legislation was passed by the US Senate earlier on Thursday. The bill provides $1.37 billion for Trump's much-anticipated border wall. According to media reports, the majority of the US lawmakers approved the new funding legislation for border security and other federal programs, including new fencing for part of the US-Mexico border but not the $5.7 billion Trump sought.

Earlier on Thursday, the White House confirmed that Trump would sign the bill into law, adding, however, the US president would also take executive action to declare a national emergency to acquire enough funding to finish construction of a wall on the southern border.

According to the US president’s public schedule released on Thursday, Trump is set to deliver remarks on the national security and humanitarian crisis on the US southern border from the White House’s Rose Garden on Friday at 10:00 a.m. local time (3:00 p.m. GMT).

READ MORE: Trump’s Wall is ‘Cave’ as Internet Reacts to 35 Day Gov’t Shutdown End (PHOTOS)

US Congressman Joaquin Castro said in a statement on Thursday he is ready to introduce a measure to block any national emergency that President Donald Trump would declare.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said earlier Democrats would review their options and be prepared to respond appropriately if Trump goes through with the national emergency declaration, stressing that the US Congress will defend its constitutional authorities.

READ MORE: Pelosi Could File Legal Challenge if Trump Declares National Emergency

U.S. President Donald Trump announces a deal to end the partial government shutdown in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2019 - Sputnik International
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“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”, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement on Thursday. “Congress will defend our constitutional authorities".

The Democratic leaders also reiterated Thursday there is no national emergency on the southern US border and Trump's “fear mongering” does not mean such emergency exists.

The executive emergency power is a tool that allows a US president to bypass Congress to take action on security-related issues. If Trump takes this route it would only represent one of around 32 active states of emergencies that were declared under previous administrations over a range of issues from sanctions on foreign states and terrorists to fighting drug traffickers.

READ MORE: Southern Areas in US More Likely to Support Trump on the Wall — Law Professor

Detainees are seen outside tent shelters used to hold separated family members, Friday, June 22, in Fabens, Texas. The U.N human rights office says President Donald Trump's decision to stop the U.S. policy separating migrant parents from their children doesn't go far enough - Sputnik International
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US lawmakers and Trump temporarily reopened the federal government for a three-week period until 15 February to negotiate a deal on border security. The main point of disagreement has been the Democrats' refusal to satisfy Trump’s funding request for a fencing on the US border with Mexico. The political stalemate caused a record 35-day government shutdown.

Trump has argued that there is a humanitarian crisis at the border that requires a wall to stem the tide of drug traffickers and other criminals that are allegedly pouring into the United States from Mexico. Building the wall is one of the biggest campaign promises the president feels he must deliver on.

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