GOP rejected Obama's executive reach, but accepts Trump's

Charlene Craig
January 14, 2019

The weeks-old stand-off over funding led to the partial government shutdown that hit day 23 on Sunday without an end in sight.

Other possibilities included tapping asset forfeiture funds, including money seized by the Department of Justice from drug kingpins, according to a congressional Republican not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

"What we're not looking to do right now is national emergency", he said at a White House event.

White House officials reportedly have been considering diverting unused money from the Army Corps of Engineers budget - specifically, $13.9 billion in emergency hurricane and wildfire relief funds allocated past year for use in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California - and from the military construction budget. The California Democrat opposes spending money on what she calls an "ineffective, wasteful wall" along the USA southern border. But he was persuaded that the seriousness of the moment warranted the Oval Office for his speech to the nation this week about the fight over the border wall.

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Meanwhile, President Trump continued to press his case for building a wall, tweeting that "our Country can not be safe" without it.

"No one knows what he will do, and the president has not decided yet, so it keeps everyone guessing", explained one Republican close to the White House.

There's also little debate that border walls are needed: about a third of the frontier is already fenced off.

Trump indicated Thursday that he might expect the shutdown to last awhile, tweeting that he'll skip a planned trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland because of the shutdown. Later, he tried to blame Democrats for the shutdown, claiming he's flexible about the needed barrier. "They can name it 'peaches'".

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Such a step would allow Mr Trump to bypass Congress and tap various pots of unspent federal money, including for military construction and disaster relief and from assets seized by law enforcement, to pay for the wall.

The newspaper went on to argue that Trump would be on sounder legal footing than his predecessor, former President Obama, was when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was implemented by executive order, but that the president should not use a national emergency to fulfill a "campaign promise". Lindsey Graham tweeted after talks with Trump: "Mr. President, Declare a national emergency NOW". That would put one hell of a dent in our production capabilities, and there might be more ways in which a White House could act under emergency powers to force an end to the use of fossil fuels for energy. "But those same conservatives, I'm sure if it's deployed, would embrace him as having done all he could do to negotiate with Democrats". Susan Collins of ME and Sen.

Many Democrats, meanwhile, say they have little reason to give into Trump's demand for border wall funding since taking control of the House in the midterm elections. "Shelby about this myself - he's done a lot of work to resolve all these issues, and I don't see why the Senate would accept those bills after they've done all this work to work things out between the House and the Senate", said Mr. Byrne.

Congress on Friday passed legislation to guarantee back pay for all workers affected by the shutdown - both those who have been furloughed and those who have continued working as personnel deemed essential to the protection of life and property.

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