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Trump could declare national emergency; United States already under 31

Trump could declare national emergency; United States already under 31”

Pelosi and Schumer also said "Congress will defend our constitutional authorities".

Democratic state attorneys general said they would consider legal action to block Trump. Asked if she would file a legal challenge to the emergency declaration, she responded, "I may".

Some of the president's Republican allies in Congress however have misgivings about an emergency declaration.

The fight left both parties dead set against another shutdown.

"The president has been privately complaining about these Republican negotiators, saying he doesn't believe they did a good enough job, they were outplayed by the Democrats, and that he wished he had been consulted more because he thinks as a dealmaker he could have gotten himself a better deal out of all of this", Collins said.

Congressional Republicans have been pointing Trump to pots of federal money he could tap for a wall to steer him away from using a politically hard emergency declaration to bypass Congress, a strategy sure to be challenged in court.

"A Democratic president can declare emergencies as well", Pelosi said.

"I have concerns about the precedent that could be set with the use of emergency action to re-appropriate funds", veteran Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said in a statement. GOP critics included Maine Sen. "He's also evaluating the authority he has and I know he'll be making a decision before the deadline", Vice President Mike Pence, who is traveling in Warsaw, said.

"My impression is he's likely to sign it but then to issue some sort of executive order to supplement those funds with other funds that Congress has already authorized him to tap", he said.

He would be able to divert money from existing military or disaster relief budgets to pay for the wall.

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Reaction to Trump's intention to declare a national emergency has been swift. "It's a humanitarian challenge to us", Pelosi said.

The Defense Department declined to provide details on available money. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota voted for it, as did Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, who is expected to join the field soon.

Notably, the word "wall", the heart of many a chant at Trump campaign events and his rallies as president, is absent from the compromise's 1,768-page legislative and descriptive language. The bill must be signed into law by Friday to keep the government from running out of funds and suspending some operations. Democrats say this will give them a chance later this year to add protections for transgender people to that law.

The majority of Democrats voted yes but several presidential contenders voted against it including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., pointed to new spending on humanitarian aid at the border and increased border technology as victories in the bill.

There is about $10 billion in funds from the current 2019 fiscal year that ends September 30, and another $11 billion from the previous four years that haven't been obligated or contracted for a project, the aides said.

Trump triggered a 35-day-long shutdown of about a quarter of the federal government with his December demand for $US5.7 billion to help build a portion of the wall. He'd won not a nickel of the $5.7 billion he'd demanded for his wall but had caused missed paychecks for legions of federal workers and contractors and lost government services for countless others.

Trump yielded on the shutdown January 25 after public opinion turned against him and congressional Republicans.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers reacted to McConnell's announcement with alarm.

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