At the border, Trump moves closer to emergency declaration

Erika Holt
January 12, 2019

Puerto Rico is still suffering the aftermath of a hurricane a year ago, and officials there were dismayed by the reports.

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.

The US federal government has been partially shut down since December 22 over the dispute between congressional Democrats to approve $5.7 billion that Trump seeks to fund the construction of the border wall.

The president said he continues to weigh the possibility of declaring a national emergency as a way to circumvent Congress and have the military construct the border wall, but Trump has yet to make a final decision on whether to follow through with that.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) seemed to prove some of these fears valid in a Friday tweet, listing a number of non-wall issues he considers national emergencies, including gun violence and climate change.

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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.

The question of whether the president has the legal authority to build a wall through a national emergency declaration remains an open question and is under review by White House lawyers.

President Donald Trump is edging closer to declaring a national emergency to pay for his long-promised U.S. -Mexico border wall as pressure mounts to end the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government and deprived hundreds of thousands of workers of their salaries.

Trump visited McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande on Thursday to highlight what he calls a crisis of drugs and crime along the border. Congressional Republicans have sounded wary of such a move and some have expressed outright opposition, while Democrats have expressed alarm. But he said those options seem less likely now without Democratic backing for some money for Trump's border plan. "We want Congress to do its job". "But those same conservatives, I'm sure, if it's deployed, would embrace him as having done all he could do to negotiate with Democrats".

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