Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Donald Trump threatens emergency powers to pay for wall

Donald Trump threatens emergency powers to pay for wall

During his Thursday trip, Trump insisted he was "winning" the shutdown fight and criticized Democrats for asserting he was manufacturing a sense of crisis in order to declare an emergency.

Lindsey Graham, a Republican and close White House ally, said Thursday he doesn't see a way to resolve the shutdown dispute that has paralyzed much of the federal government.

Trump, visiting McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande to highlight what he says is a crisis of drugs and crime, said that "if for any reason we don't get this going" - an agreement with House Democrats who have refused to approve the $5.7 billion he demands for the wall - "I will declare a national emergency".

Democratic leaders are unanimously opposed to spending money on any new border barriers -although they have offered $1.3 billion to strengthen existing walls and fences, increase hiring at ports of entry and improve technology at the border. "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".

As the shutdown drags on, Trump has repeatedly raised the possibility that he might declare a national emergency in an effort to secure funding for a border wall.

Almost $14 billion in emergency disaster relief funds have been allocated but not yet obligated through contracts for a variety of projects in states including California, Florida and Texas and in the US territory of Puerto Rico that have been ravaged by recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters, according to the aide familiar with the matter.

President Donald Trump said he could use emergency powers to bypass Congress to pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border.

A second official with knowledge of the proposal said it would fund construction of about 315 miles (500 kilometers) of border barrier.

Yesterday during a visit to the southern border in Texas, President Trump put DACA on the table as a negotiating point with Democrats.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has been in conversations with the White House on a trio of legislative alternatives.

Todd Semonite, commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers, was traveling with Trump on Thursday.

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