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. By a vote of 411-7, the House passed a bill requiring that all government workers receive retroactive pay after the partial shutdown ends.
Puerto Rico is still suffering the aftermath of a hurricane previous year, and officials there were dismayed by the reports.
The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to comb through its budget in search of money for the wall, including looking at $13.9 billion in unspent disaster relief funds earmarked for areas including hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico, Texas and more than a dozen other states.
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. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) telling CNBC, "If today, the national emergency is border security. tomorrow the national emergency might be climate change".
As the shutdown has dragged on, the President has increasingly talked about the possibility of declaring a national emergency in an effort to secure border funding, a move that would be expected to face legal challenge if it happened. But he said those options seem less likely now without Democratic backing for some money for Trump's border plan.
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The president has warned of an "invasion" and a "humanitarian crisis" at the southern border, as he continues to negotiate for $5.7 billion to fund border security and construction of a wall or barrier along the border. Trump said Thursday that his lawyers have told him he has the "absolute right". 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.
He said the Army Corps works on dams, levees and other projects across the nation and has an enormous backlog of unfunded needs.
And Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., said in a statement that it would be "beyond appalling for the president to take money from places like Puerto Rico that have suffered enormous catastrophes, costing thousands of American citizens' lives, in order to pay for Donald Trump's foolish, offensive and hateful wall".
"If and when the president does that you'll find out how we will react", Pelosi said.