Late on Wednesday, negotiators put the finishing touches on the legislation that would provide more than $300 billion to fund the Department of Homeland Security and a range of other federal agencies through September 30, the end of the current fiscal year.
Although it includes $1.37bn in funding to help build physical barriers on the border, it does not include money for concrete walls, forcing Trump to look elsewhere for funding.
Under the tentative agreement reached by Congress this week, funding for enhanced security on the border would be limited to $1.375 billion.
In an attempt to bypass Congress to get money that lawmakers have so far denied him for his wall Trump appeared headed toward triggering a swift court challenge from Democrats on constitutional grounds. Asked by reporters if she would file a legal challenge to an emergency declaration, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "I may, that's an option".
The House passed the border security bill Thursday, with a majority of Democrats voting in favor of it and most Republicans voting against it. His fulminations about a border wall having failed to convince the legislative branch, which forged a deal that yielded less than a quarter of the funds the president demanded, he has decided by his planned emergency declaration simply to render the legislative branch irrelevant.
The top Democrat in Congress immediately denounced the president's move.
Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said earlier Thursday that Trump will sign the spending bill and declare a national emergency at the same time Friday morning. But according to the law, the money has to be used in support of USA armed forces, they say.
"Congressman Adam Smith, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, just stated, 'Yes, there is a provision in law that says a president can declare an emergency. He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time". So, for all of my colleagues: the president will sign the bill.
And if this resolution is any indication, if the president wants to get his way he's largely going to have to find ways around Congress, not through it.
USA federal law gives a number of powers to the president to use in response to a "crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances threatening the nation", a document prepared for Congress states.
About $10 billion would be available to the president from this year's budget, along with another $11 billion in funding from previous budgets that has not been obligated, the aides said. Moving to an emergency declaration is a next step that Trump has been exploring for weeks.
President Trump is poised to declare a national emergency on the U.S. border with Mexico, allowing him to seize billions of dollars for a wall even as he signs a compromise deal providing limited cash for his signature project.
While the majority of Republicans have rallied behind Trump, some have voiced concerns that the declaration might violate the constitution and set a unsafe precedent.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) accused Trump of throwing a "temper tantrum" for his "ridiculous wall" while Sen.
When it comes to building border barriers, the Trump administration also faces legal challenges on the eminent domain front.