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Trump to sign border bill and declare national emergency to get wall funding
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump will sign a border security bill to avert another government shutdown, but also declare a national emergency to obtain funds for his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, the top Senate Republican said on Thursday.
In an attempt to bypass Congress to get money that lawmakers have denied him for his wall, Trump appeared headed toward triggering a swift court challenge from Democrats on constitutional grounds.
"I've just had an opportunity to speak to President Trump and he, I would say to all my colleagues, has indicated he is prepared to sign the bill," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.
"He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time and I've indicated to him that I'm going to support a national emergency declaration," McConnell said.
The bipartisan legislation would provide more than $300 billion to fund the Department of Homeland Security and a range of other federal agencies through Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year. Funding is due to expire for those agencies on Friday.
Congress was expected later on Thursday to approve the legislation, which does not contain the money Trump demanded for the wall but does contain money for other border security measures.
The bill faces votes in the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-controlled House of Representatives before going to Trump, who triggered a 35-day-long shutdown of about a quarter of the federal government with his December demand for $5.7 billion to help build a portion of the wall.
In denying him that money, Congress has blocked Trump from carrying through on one of his key 2016 campaign pledges.
The border bill would provide $1.37 billion in new money to help build 55 miles (88.5 km) of new physical barriers on the border. It is the same level of funding Congress appropriated for border security measures last year, including barriers but not concrete walls.
(Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell and Roberta Rampton; Writing by Kevin Drawbaugh and James Oliphant; Editing by Will Dunham)
The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would allow service members to seek compensation when military doctors make mistakes that harm them, but they would still be unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.
On Monday night, Congress announced that it had finalized the NDAA, which must be passed by the House and Senate before going to President Donald Trump. If the president signs the NDAA into law, it would mark the first time in nearly seven decades that U.S. military personnel have had legal recourse to seek payment from the military in cases of medical malpractice.
A major serving at U.S. Army Cyber Command has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to the Justice Department.
Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, who is based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, has been remanded to the U.S. Marshals service, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia says.
Navy senior leaders could decide whether or not to approve the new I-Boot 5 early in 2020, said Rob Carroll, director of the uniform matters office at the Chief of Naval Personnel's office.
"The I-Boot 5 is currently wrapping up its actual wear test, its evaluation," Carroll told Task & Purpose on Monday. "We're hoping that within the first quarter of calendar year 2020 that we'll be able to present leadership with the information that they need to make an informed decision."
Oklahoma Congresspeople slam private housing contractor at Tinker Air Force Base for negligence, fraud
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn leveled harsh criticism last week at the contractor accused of negligence and fraudulent activity while operating private housing at Tinker Air Force Base and other military installations.
Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to Balfour Beatty Communities as "notorious." Horn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told a company executive she was "incredibly disappointed you have failed to live up to your responsibility for taking care of the people that are living in these houses."
The Saudi national who killed three students on a U.S. Naval Air station in Pensacola was in the United States on a training exchange program.
On Sunday, Sen. Rick Scott said the United States should suspend that program, which brings foreign nationals to America for military training, pending a "full review."