Trump may use Puerto Rico, California disaster funds to build border wall

Trump may use Puerto Rico, California disaster funds to build border wall

Fifty-one percent of Americans believe Trump "deserves the most blame", while 32 percent said the Democrats do.

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

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

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.

President Trump and congressional Republicans say they won't support any bill to fund and reopen the government that doesn't include money for a wall along the southern border.

The White House has said the president's trip is created to allow him to meet with those individuals who are "on the front lines" of what they have called a "national security and humanitarian crisis".

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"I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency, the lawyers have so advised me", Trump said outside the White House.

President Trump on the partial government shutdown and efforts to reach a compromise on border wall funding. But he said those options seem less likely now without Democratic backing for some money for Trump's border plan.

Regardless of where the money is found, an emergency declaration would draw immediate legal challenge from Democrats, who have accused Trump of trying to manufacture a crisis at the southern border to justify his wall. It would allow the president to divert funds from the Department of Defense to help pay for construction. Congressional Republicans have sounded wary of such a move and some have expressed outright opposition, while Democrats have expressed alarm.

He said the Army Corps works on dams, levees and other projects across the nation and has an enormous backlog of unfunded needs.

"Siphoning funding from real disasters to pay for a crisis manufactured by the president is wholly unacceptable and the American people won't fall for it", said Velazquez in a statement.

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