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).
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.
If @realdonaldtrump declares a national emergency to fund his border wall, I’m prepared to introduce a resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration under 50 U.S.C. 1622. (National Emergencies Act) #FakeEmergency— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) 14 февраля 2019 г.
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.
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.
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.