Trump extends emergency declaration at border

Trump extends emergency declaration at border

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister 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 PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms Lawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Malaysia says it will choose 5G partners based on own standards, not US recommendations 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.

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

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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 ThornberryLawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall US defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk Lawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban 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.