Congress approves measure to ensure federal workers are paid retroactively after shutdown

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"We can declare a national emergency".

"If this doesn't work out, probably I will do it", Trump said Thursday morning, according to The Hill.

The House of Representatives voted to approve a Senate-passed measure to ensure federal workers furloughed during the ongoing partial government shutdown are paid retroactively when the government reopens, sending the bill to President Trump's desk.

Puerto Rico is still suffering the aftermath of a hurricane a year ago, and officials there were dismayed by the reports.

Pence said the president has "made no decision" about declaring a national emergency, but added, "The president's going to get this done one way or the other".

U.S. President Donald Trump (2R) argues about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (R) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Vice President Mike Pence sits nearby in the Oval Office on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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Graham sounded deflated after talks among senators essentially collapsed, and said, "It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers" to fund wall construction.

The aide said the $13.9 billion has been allocated but not yet obligated through contracts for a variety of projects in California, Florida, Texas, other states and Puerto Rico, which have experienced hurricanes, wildfires or other natural disasters.

President Donald Trump said he could use emergency powers to bypass Congress to pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border. But he said those options seem less likely now without Democratic backing for some money for Trump's border plan.

Trump visited McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande on Thursday to highlight what he calls a crisis of drugs and crime along the border. Trump said Thursday that his lawyers have told him he has the "absolute right".

"While the President has broad military authorities, as the Commander in Chief, when it comes to declaring a national emergency, I can not and will not support reallocating funding we approved in a bipartisan effort in Congress for the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico", Gonzalez said.

Senior aide Jared Kushner, who traveled with the president to Texas, is among those urging caution on the declaration, according to a person familiar with Kushner's thinking but not authorized to publicly discuss the issue.

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