President Trump signed legislation today that fully funds Federal government agencies and operations through Sept. 30 – putting an end to nearly two months of funding disruption and anxiety that included the 35-day partial shutdown of agencies and impacted about one quarter of the Federal civilian workforce.

As promised yesterday, President Trump also said he would declare a national emergency later today regarding border security and seek other sources of already-appropriated funding to construct additional physical barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a speech from the White House, the President cited precedent for using executive powers for that purpose.

“So, the order is signed and I’ll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office. And we will have a national emergency,” Trump told reporters.

The signing of the new spending bill thwarts the prospect of another partial government shutdown that would have begun tomorrow.  The 35-day partial shutdown that began in December and carried into January was ended with a short-term spending bill that expires at the end of today.

Amid claims that construction on a wall at the southern border was currently ongoing, the President announced that he would be declaring a national emergency to have a border wall built while adding that it was “a great thing to do.”

“I am going to be signing a national emergency and it’s been signed many times before,” President Trump said.

In a joint statement released shortly after Trump’s Rose Garden press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that declaring a national emergency for a border wall would violate the Constitution.

“The President’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defense funds for the security of our military and our nation,” they said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.