Trump extends emergency declaration at border

Trump extends emergency declaration at border

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE on Thursday renewed a state of emergency he declared on the Southern border, which he has used to reprogram billions of dollars to building his border wall.

"The ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border of the United States continues to threaten our national security, including the security of the American people," he wrote in a notice to Congress.

"The executive branch has taken steps to address the crisis, but further action is needed to address the humanitarian crisis and to control unlawful migration and the flow of narcotics and criminals across the southern border of the United States," he continued.

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Trump officially declared the emergency on Feb. 15 last year after a five-week government shutdown — the longest in the nation's history — failed to convince Congress to fund the wall to his satisfaction.

The emergency powers allowed Trump to reprogram funds from military construction and other defense funds, but were set to expire on Saturday. Trump's notice will extend the powers for another year.

The notice comes just hours after reports surfaced that Trump was moving an additional $3.8 billion in defense funds toward building the wall. Those funds came from aircraft, ship-building and National Guard funds.

Democrats were outraged by the move.

“Congress has repeatedly voted in a bipartisan way to refuse funding the President’s wasteful, ineffective border wall," House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDon't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms Hillicon Valley: Officials worry about Nevada caucus technology after Iowa | Pelosi joins pressure campaign on Huawei | Workers at Kickstarter vote to unionize | Bezos launches B climate initiative Pelosi joins pressure campaign on Huawei MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBarr to testify before House Judiciary panel Graham won't call Barr to testify over Roger Stone sentencing recommendation Roger Stone witness alleges Trump targeted prosecutors in 'vile smear job' MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement.

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"This latest effort to steal Congressionally-appropriated military funding undermines our national security and the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution," they added.

Congress was unable to override Trump's veto on the two occasions that it voted to overturn the emergency. It is likely Congress will vote on the issue again.

Rep. Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryOvernight Defense: Dem senator met with Iranian foreign minister | Meeting draws criticism from right | Lawmakers push back at Pentagon funding for wall Lawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall US defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk MORE (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, called for renewed congressional action.

"The re-programming announced today is contrary to Congress’s constitutional authority, and I believe that it requires Congress to take action," he said.

Earlier in the week, Trump dropped his annual request for congressional funding for the wall to $2 billion from $5 billion in previous years, in part because he had succeeded in reprogramming the cash from other funds.

Previous transfers emptied accounts slated for military construction projects such as repairing barracks.