President Trump is reportedly contemplating tapping into catastrophe funds to fund his border wall, together with cash reserved for Puerto Rico.
A funding supply opens up
The President has been briefed on a plan to make use of $13.9 billion and the Army Corps of Engineers to construct the wall, presumably after declaring a nationwide emergency. The Pentagon, as we reported earlier, is drawing up plans to assemble a wall in anticipation of a declared emergency. (RELATED: Pentagon Prepping to Build Border Wall Should Trump Declare Emergency.)
President Trump will nonetheless must finance the wall building. To accomplish that, he’s been demanding $5.7 billion from congressional Democrats, who’ve opposed the plan all alongside.
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With Democrats refusing to fund the wall, Trump is searching for out methods to construct it unilaterally. One supply of funding is emergency-relief funds, which had been put aside to assist reconstruct Puerto Rico and different storm-torn areas. NBC reports: “The cash was put aside to fund tasks all around the nation together with storm-damaged areas of Puerto Rico by means of fiscal 12 months 2020, however the checks haven’t been written but and, below an emergency declaration, the president might take the cash from these civil works tasks and use it to construct the border wall, stated officers conversant in the briefing and two congressional sources.”
JUST IN: President Trump has been briefed on a plan that might use funds put aside for tasks, together with storm-damaged areas of Puerto Rico, to construct 315 miles of barrier alongside the U.S.-Mexico border, @NBCNews studies. https://t.co/8eSuu9Dpak
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) January 10, 2019
The AP notes that this cash has already been accredited by Congress. Democrats thus have little recourse in the event that they want to withdraw it. At most, they’ll attraction to the court docket system to cease it, or being impeachment proceedings.
An emergency is an emergency
Given that these funds had been put aside for emergency functions, Trump declaring a nationwide emergency would justify utilizing the funds to assemble the wall. The solely issues are apparent: optics and authorized challenges.
It’s nonetheless undetermined if Trump has the authorized authority to make use of his national-emergency powers to construct a border wall. The courts should type that out.
Trump must also concentrate on the optics of taking cash designated for Puerto Rico and utilizing it to assemble a wall alongside the Mexican border. That may not play over properly with these of Puerto Rican descent.
Then once more, failing to construct the wall earlier than election day in 2020 gained’t play over properly with any would-be Trump voters.