UPDATE – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirms that President Trump will sign the congressional border-wall deal and declare a national emergency in order to construct the border wall himself.
BREAKING: Mitch McConnell said Trump told him he intends to sign the spending bill and declare a national emergencyhttps://t.co/eXtEiCNYUN
— Axios (@axios) February 14, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence, speaking to reporters in Warsaw, Poland, said President Trump is holding his nose and considering the government-funding compromise deal before him.
Pence notes that the less than $1.4 billion in border-wall funding is far below what the President had requested and that the deal, in its current form, is “a disappointment.”
“I know the President is still evaluating the bill that the conference committee has produced,” explained Pence. “I think he’s been very clear that he’s not happy with it.”
“Seeing less than 1.4 billion dollars in border wall funding I know is a disappointment to the president but he’s considering the bill.”
The President tweeted that he is reviewing the bill in the White House as we speak.
Reviewing the funding bill with my team at the @WhiteHouse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2019
Earlier this week, Trump iterated that he is not at all pleased with the spending deal.
“Am I happy at first glance?” he said. “I just got to see it. The answer is no, I’m not. I’m not happy.”
Still, Senate lawmakers are looking to approve the bill Thursday, send it to the House and then on to the President where nobody is quite certain what he’ll do. The deadline before funding runs out is Friday.
Chuck Grassley asks the Senate to pray that Trump will sign the spending bill
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) February 14, 2019
Pence’s words seem to indicate he might relent.
VP Pence tells reporters that he’s talked with Trump about border deal: “I think he’s been very clear that he’s not happy with it. Seeing less than 1.4 billion dollars in border wall funding I know is a disappointment to the president but he’s considering the bill.”
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) February 14, 2019
Sean Hannity has indicated Republicans should reject a proposal he views as “garbage.”
Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina said he was “disappointed” in the bipartisan border deal, adding “the amount of money” provided means “it would take 20 years to complete the wall.”
Pence Says There’s Hope
“There’s 23 billion dollars in border security funding,” Pence explained, “including many of the priorities that we requested to address what is a real crisis on our southern border and I know the president is considering that as well.”
Trump, he added, will “address what is a very real humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.”
“I think the President is evaluating what’s in the bill,” Pence said. “He’s also evaluating the authority that he has and I know he’ll be making a decision before the deadline this Friday.”
The decision to take those other routes would be a good one, but the problem then becomes whether or not the Democrats are able to successfully tie Trump’s hands for two years in the courts by challenging the legality.
If the wall isn’t built by Election Day, the President could face backlash for failing to follow through on his main campaign promise in 2016.