U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border Friday in a bid to fulfil his promise for a wall along the Mexico border.
The president made the announcement after bipartisan congressional negotiations provided less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion that he wanted to start building more-than-200 miles of the wall.
Trump signed the funding bill to avert another partial government shutdown, but said he was not satisfied with the border wall funding it offered.
“I’ll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office, and we will have a national emergency,” Trump said in a press conference at the White House Friday.
Declaring the emergency allows Trump to evoke other executive powers needed to get the funding without congressional approval.
The money is expected to come from funds targeted for military construction and counterdrug efforts, but aides could not immediately specify which military projects would be affected.
WATCH: Why Donald Trump declared a national emergency
Trump boasted that he was fulfilling his promise and securing the border. He added that he expected legal challenges to the declaration, which will eventually end up in the Supreme Court but be defeated.
“We will possibly get another bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling, and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court. And then, hopefully, we’ll get a fair shake,” he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement on Trump’s announcement calling it a “power grab.”
“This is plainly a power grab by a disappointed President, who has gone outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process.”
WATCH: Republicans have mixed reactions to the border spending deal
Pelosi and Schumer vowed to protect the Constitution.
“The President is not above the law. The Congress cannot let the President shred the Constitution,” the statement read.
New York’s state attorney general threatened legal action against the national emergency.
“We will not stand for this abuse of power and will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal,” New York’s Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
Trump had been floating the idea of declaring a national emergency over border wall funding for several months.
Last March, he tweeted: “Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our Country, is all about National Defense. Build WALL through M!”
WATCH: More from Trump’s press conference
In Friday’s wide-ranging speech, Trump touched on several issues he claimed a border wall will fix, including stopping crime and “big drugs” from coming into the country.
He said a wall will prevent “MS-13 gang monsters” and migrant caravans from entering the U.S.
Beyond border security, Trump spoke about several issues such as trade relations with China and North Korea denuclearization efforts.
— With files from the Associated Press, Reuters
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