Trump administration eyes raiding hurricane relief funds to build border wall

Trump gets testy with reporter over shutdown

Sean Patrick Maloney says that most Republicans are opposed to Trump funding the wall through executive order.

The pressure on Washington to strike a deal intensified Friday when most workers missed their paychecks for the first time.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the report of Trump's plans left city and county officials "scrambling to figure out how local flood control plans would be affected" by the White House proposal, a year and a half after Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Houston.

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.

The president is requesting Congress to approve $5.7 billion to help fulfill a campaign promise to build a wall along the USA southern border. "If they can't do it I will declare a national emergency".

Trump on Thursday gave his strongest public indication yet that he is leaning toward an emergency declaration as he traveled to the Texas border to continue to press his case for the wall.

Trump was consulting with White House attorneys and allies about using presidential emergency powers to take unilateral action to construct the wall over the objections of Congress. It would allow the president to divert funds from the Department of Defense to help pay for construction. The majority has also already been obligated - meaning that it has been spent or a contract has been signed and there would be penalties for cancellation. Trump said Thursday that his lawyers have told him he has the "absolute right". Congressional Republicans have sounded wary of such a move and some have expressed outright opposition, while Democrats have expressed alarm.

Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho, a top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said he has been hearing from lawmakers in recent days concerned that Army Corps projects in their states could be canceled or postponed.

"If and when the president does that you'll find out how we will react", Pelosi said.

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