Puerto Rico governor rips report of Trump redirecting disaster aid funding for border wall

Ricardo Rossello

Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello argued that not solely ought to Trump dismiss the plan to divert cash from reconstruction efforts, he ought to present much more cash for these initiatives. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Friday ripped reviews that President Donald Trump may declare a nationwide emergency and order the army to divert catastrophe assist cash with the intention to fund a wall alongside the U.S. Mexico border, declaring that there might be “no justification” for such a transfer.

NBC News reported on Wednesday that Trump had been briefed on a plan that might dip into funding put aside by the Army Corps of Engineers for initiatives that included restoration from pure disasters in locations like California and Puerto Rico, citing “three U.S. officers accustomed to the briefing.”

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Rossello on Friday demanded that Trump make clear his intentions, asking in a sequence of tweets whether or not Trump would “help the rebuild of PR, CA, TX, USVI and others, or undermine it.”

“No wall ought to be funded on the ache and struggling of US residents who’ve endured tragedy and loss by a pure catastrophe,” he mentioned, including: “Today it’s us, tomorrow it might be you.”

The supply of funding for the president’s proposed border wall has been up within the air since he launched his bid for president in 2015 with a pledge that the Mexican authorities would pay for his promised wall. The situation has taken middle stage although in latest weeks because the driving pressure behind a partial authorities shutdown on the verge of changing into the longest in U.S. historical past.

Shutdown negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats have to this point floor to a halt with neither aspect prepared to concede on wall funding. The deadlock has prompted the president to weigh declaring a nationwide emergency on the nation’s southern border, a legally doubtful transfer that might enable him to bypass Congress and entry army sources to finance and assemble the wall. Such a transfer would virtually actually face stiff authorized challenges.

According to NBC News, if Trump had been to undergo with the plan to divert cash from the Army Corps, he would be capable to use extra money to construct extra miles of wall than underneath his current request to congress, which is $5.7 billion to assemble 234 miles.

Trump has been criticized for its lackluster response to pure disasters in locations like Puerto Rico and California particularly, the place Hurricane Maria and a wave of wildfires, respectively, have left huge swaths of destruction. Earlier this week, Trump threatened to yank FEMA {dollars} for California, accusing the state for poor forest administration, although FEMA is at the moment hamstrung by the shutdown.

Rossello argued that not solely ought to Trump dismiss the plan to divert cash from reconstruction efforts, he ought to present much more cash for these initiatives, pleading with the president that he not “tear down U.S. residents with the intention to construct a wall” and “assist the USA rebuild.”

“No justification ought to be thought-about to reclassify the cash that U.S. residents will use to rebuild their communities. If something, the dialog ought to be how we get extra sources to rebuild these impacted areas sooner.”

He added: “This is a traditional case of selecting between obstruction and development. Which aspect are you on @actualDonaldTrump?”

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