Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced off of his clearly stated opposition to a national emergency in order to secure President Trump’s support of the spending bill.
That’s a huge deal: McConnell has been warning the White House publicly and the President, directly, privately that an emergency declaration was not only opposed ideologically by many Senate Republicans, but also faced a very real chance of being blocked precisely because of that.
Remember: Congress can consider a joint resolution to block any national emergency.
The House will almost certainly move one (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she “may” file a legal challenge). If McConnell and Republicans maintained their opposition, Trump’s move would be blocked.
How close was Trump to opposing this bill? Well, McConnell just gave in on an issue he’s been unbending on for weeks to secure his support.
The bottom line: McConnell knew Trump was very seriously considering not signing the bill and the Senate leader has been furious about everything the last nine weeks.
The shutdown and the fight that followed has blocked his agenda, his judicial nominations, and a working Senate. A decision was made that it was time to put an end to all of it, so he put his opposition to the emergency declaration aside.
In other words? He made a deal.