Trump administration eyes raiding hurricane relief funds to build border wall

Pelosi of Calif. center speaks following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House Jan. 9 2019

Moments after the funding vote, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill that guarantees backpay for federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown.

President Donald Trump plans to visit a border patrol station and a section of the border during his visit Thursday to McAllen, Texas. On the flip side, Cavuto also thinks Democrats are being disingenuous, sounding less concerned about border dangers than they did just a few months ago. The Senate approved the bill unanimously Thursday.

While it's unclear whether Trump will indeed declare a national emergency, he told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday that without a deal with Congress, "most likely I will do that".

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.

The wall was the central promise of Trump's winning campaign in 2016. The funding was allocated to the Army Corps of Engineers back in a February 2018 but never spent. That's according to a congressional aide and administration official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the request.

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"If there's a list of top 10 priorities on where to get money from, that doesn't make the top 10 list", Meadows said.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said the wall should not be funded "on the pain and suffering" of USA citizens who have faced tragedy after a natural disaster. Efforts at negotiating a broader immigration deal involving immigrants brought to the country illegally as children collapsed with little progress. One way around that political roadblock could be for Trump to declare a national emergency, which would allow him to use unspent Defense Department disaster recovery and military construction funds to start construction.

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.

On Wednesday, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with Trump, but the meeting ended quickly after Trump walked out because the Democratic leaders did not compromise on funding for the border wall.

The ongoing partial government shutdown hit a new milestone on Friday by matching the record for the longest government shutdown in USA history.

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