President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency to free up funds to construct a border wall with Mexico, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday afternoon on the floor of the Senate.
President Trump also plans to sign funding legislation that would avoid another government shutdown, McConnell said.
The funding bill provides a smaller portion of money for the wall than the $5.7 billion President Trump had sought during the shutdown for the wall he repeatedly claimed during his campaign would be paid for by Mexico.
Declaring a national emergency is likely to face significant political and legal opposition because the President will have to cite which specific statues in place he is using to justify the action.
Critics have also noted a Supreme Court precedent that blocked President Harry Truman from nationalizing the steel industry during the Korean War as a potential obstacle.