An irritable Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) lashed out Thursday when he was interrupted during a speech so Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could announce that President Donald Trump is planning to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall.
Grassley apparently wasn’t immediately aware of the reason his comments on tax relief were cut short on the floor.
“I hope the next time I get a chance to have the floor, I won’t be interrupted,” he said in a snit when he was asked to yield the floor.
Politico reporter Jake Sherman said that Grassley yelled at McConnell: “You’re rude. You’re just simply rude.”
But Grassley and McConnell were later seen laughing together and shaking hands after McConnell apologized, said Sherman.
Earlier in the day, Grassley had asked for prayers so the president would have the “wisdom” to sign the spending measure to keep the government running. “Let’s all pray that the president will have the wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn’t shut down,” Grassley said.
McConnell announced before the Senate vote on the bill that Trump had told him he would sign the measure — as well as declare a national emergency to get the border wall built. The measure only included $1.375 billion for 55 miles of “pedestrian fencing” along the border ― a fraction of the president’s $5.7 billion demand for more than 200 miles of concrete barriers. Trump vowed repeatedly during his campaign and early in his presidency that Mexico would pay for the wall.
“I indicated to him I am going to support the national emergency declaration,” McConnell told the Senate after Grassley left the floor. “So for all of my colleagues, the president will sign the bill. We’ll be voting on it shortly.”
The bill passed the Senate 83-16 and later passed the House as well, 300-128.
Grassley has criticized the idea of Trump declaring an emergency to build his wall.
On Thursday, the senator issued a statement noting his “concerns about the precedent that could be set with the use of emergency action to re-appropriate funds. Accordingly, I will study the president’s declaration closely. The Constitution grants Congress the authority to appropriate federal dollars, so I’m sure such action will be litigated in the courts.”