Donald Trump Cancels Davos Trip Over US-Mexico Border Wall Row

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 11, 2019

President Donald Trump said he could use emergency powers to bypass Congress to pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border.

He left the lawmakers with a "bye-bye". "I hope it works". "Somebody has got to get some energy to fix this".

The partial government shutdown, now on Day 20, hinges on Trump's demand for $5.6 billion for his pet infrastructure project, a promise that was central to his 2016 campaign.

The Senate approved a bill by voice vote to provide back pay to federal workers now on furlough or working without pay when the government shutdown ends.

Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat who has cultivated good relations with Trump, told reporters a national emergency declaration by Trump would be "wrong, but I think that's his only way out" of the impasse.

"It's a luxury our country can't afford under any circumstances", she added later.

Trump's trip comes amid a bitter standoff with congressional Democratic leaders, including a contentious Situation Room meeting that Trump abruptly ended after a row over his proposed southern border wall, which Democrats vehemently oppose.

"I cautioned him that if President Trump directs DoD to circumvent Congress in such a legally dubious way on such a major issue, Congress will have to reevaluate its relationship with the department and judge whether each instance of broad flexibility granted to the Department is worth the risk of abuse by President Trump", Durbin said in a statement.

"I didn't smash the table. I should have, but I didn't smash the table", he told reporters on Thursday outside the White House.

The Washington Post suggested the White House was laying the groundwork for declaring an emergency that would let Trump build sections of a wall, possibly using funds from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Democrats have offered more resources to improve border security, including new infrastructure, more personnel, and better technology, but Trump and the Republicans will not budge on wall funding.

Pelosi said Democratic lawmakers were moving forward with legislation that would fund the government without a border wall ― something that would perhaps trigger the president to declare an emergency.

The House speaker also criticized the president's threat to withhold disaster aid funding from wildfire-ravaged California communities.

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