Trump cancels Davos trip over partial govt. shutdown

Washington DC. L-R Senator John Barrasso US Vice President Mike Pence Trump US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Washington DC. L-R Senator John Barrasso US Vice President Mike Pence Trump US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

An estimated 800,000 federal workers have been impacted by the shutdown, either by having to work without pay while it lasts or by being furloughed.

Visiting a border patrol station in McAllen, Trump viewed tables piled with weapons and narcotics. Trump, they argue, could tell backers that he was doing all he could to fight for the wall, even if his order were held up or blocked in court. In what would be an unprecedented move, Trump is considering declaring a national emergency in a bid to circumvent Congress, and he has ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to look into raiding funds from a $13.9 billion disaster relief bill meant to help Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California recover from deadly hurricanes and wildfires.

A last-ditch, long-shot effort to broker compromise in the Senate also appeared to stall out on Thursday.

Trump on Thursday gave his strongest public indication yet that he is leaning toward an emergency declaration as he traveled to the Texas border to continue to press his case for the wall.

The wall was the central promise of Trump's winning campaign in 2016. That's according to a congressional aide and administration official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the request.

Almost $14 billion in emergency disaster relief funds have been allocated but not yet obligated through contracts for a variety of projects in states including California, Florida and Texas and in the US territory of Puerto Rico that have been ravaged by recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters, according to the aide familiar with the matter.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a lawmaker with a close relationship with the president, discounted that option, saying it was not "under very serious consideration". One way around that political roadblock could be for Trump to declare a national emergency, which would allow him to use unspent Defense Department disaster recovery and military construction funds to start construction.

Now 21 days into the partial government shutdown (tied for the longest ever in USA history), it's crunch time for Trump.

President Trump seems determined to find a way to fund a border wall between the USA and Mexico - even if it means diverting billions of dollars of aid originally earmarked for Puerto Rico and other communities recovering from disasters.

PHOTO: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, speaks following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, Jan. 9, 2019.

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