Trump may use Puerto Rico, California disaster funds to build border wall

Washington DC. L-R Senator John Barrasso US Vice President Mike Pence Trump US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Washington DC. L-R Senator John Barrasso US Vice President Mike Pence Trump US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Trump, they argue, could tell backers that he was doing all he could to fight for the wall, even if his order were held up or blocked in court.

"We can declare a national emergency".

Senate Republicans have stated they won't pass any spending legislation unless President Donald Trump agrees to sign it, but Trump has said he won't sign any bills that don't provide $5.7 billion to fund a barrier at the U.S. -Mexico border.

Graham sounded deflated after talks among senators essentially collapsed, and said, "It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers" to fund wall construction. "If they backfill it immediately after the government opens, that's fine, but I don't want that to be where that money is not available". Trump says he won't reopen the government without money for the wall.

The aide said the $13.9 billion has been allocated but not yet obligated through contracts for a variety of projects in California, Florida, Texas, other states and Puerto Rico, which have experienced hurricanes, wildfires or other natural disasters.

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While scientists warn that the climate crisis will continue to cause increasingly damaging weather events and disasters in USA communities, President Donald Trump made clear Friday his focus on a separate, invented "crisis" as he ordered officials to consider redirecting billions of dollars in disaster relief funds to pay for a wall at the southern US border.

Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have vowed to block any sort of funding for the wall, accusing the president of having "manufactured" a crisis at the border.

This source close to Trump also said the president is evaluating the effects on federal workers and the government writ large in the context that it is likely his last possible chance to deliver on a signature campaign promise and end a bonafide crisis on the southern border. He claimed his lawyers told him the action would withstand legal scrutiny "100 percent".

Defense Department officials discussed the plan with Trump Thursday as he traveled to the southern border.

Pelosi has not said how House Democrats would respond to Trump declaring a national emergency, but she predicted a bipartisan rejection of an attempt by the White House to skirt Congress's power.

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