Trump sounds alarm over 'invasion' at southern border, after returning from Texas

GOP not 'totally unified' on border security

The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to comb through its budget, including $13.9 billion in emergency funds that Congress earmarked a year ago, to see what money could be diverted to the wall as part of a declaration. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly. But the Mexican government has refused and Trump is now demanding that Congress provide $5.7 billion in USA taxpayer funding for the wall. In any case, it was nearly certain to trigger an immediate court challenge from Democrats, including an accusation of trying to circumvent Congress' power over the national purse strings. Pressure was mounting to find an escape hatch from the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, cutting scattered services and leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay.

An emergency declaration could activate special powers under which the president can redirect federal money without additional authorization from Congress. "I said they're going to pay for it".

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.

Rep. Nydia Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., told NBC the Democrats would fight "with every ounce of energy we have" to prevent the president from using Army Corps funds to build his wall.

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Trump traveled to the southern border in Texas on Thursday to highlight his push for a border wall. He claimed his lawyers told him the action would withstand legal scrutiny "100 percent". He recently said during a press conference he might if talks fail.

"If they drag the money out of here", Simpson said in an interview late Thursday, "a lot of members will have problem with it". The funding measures do not include border wall funding, but they do include $1.3 billion for other border security measures. "It would be an incredible disservice to the American people and the economy" to divert the money to the border wall, he said.

"I often said during rallies, with little variation, that 'Mexico will pay for the Wall.' We have just signed a great new Trade Deal with Mexico".

Another Twitter user, Cat Heifner, shared what she said was her brother's payslip which showed that he had been paid one cent for his work as an air traffic controller.

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