AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A budget shortfall in Texas threatens cuts to colleges and Medicaid, yet a costly border security operation is proving largely untouchable.

That's despite President Donald Trump's promises to build a wall and the plunging number of people caught illegally entering the U.S.

During a key budget vote Thursday, House Democrats were trying unsuccessfully to take dollars earmarked for hundreds of state troopers on the Texas-Mexico border and National Guard patrols, and put that money instead toward other programs they say are underfunded.

Texas is set to pass a new budget by June, and a prolonged oil slump has left lawmakers about $6 billion short of the money needed to keep the status quo.

But proposals to scale back Texas' $800 million border operation during a marathon debate appeared largely symbolic.