How desperate is Donald Trump for a political win? This desperate. The White House has directed the Pentagon to see if money can be diverted from funds for victims of hurricanes in Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida, as well as wildfires in California to finance construction of Trump’s border wall. The process would begin when Trump declares the wall a “national emergency.” Then, money would need to be allocated from somewhere to begin building. Trump wants to take it from hurricane and wildfire victims. The Washington Post writes:
The administration is eyeing unused money in the Army Corps of Engineers budget, specifically a disaster spending bill passed by Congress last year that includes $13.9 billion allocated but not spent for civil works projects, two people with knowledge of the developments said Thursday.
Trump is asking if construction can begin in 45 days. But the move is sure to set off a bitter fight with Democrats in Congress and it will most likely be challenged in court.
Congress appropriated $14 billion in supplemental funds to repair infrastructure in areas of the country hardest hit by disasters including hurricanes, like Hurricane Maria which slammed Puerto Rico in 2017 and resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people.
Under emergency declaration plan, Trump could take billions from disaster areas to fund his border wall – including money for flood prevention in California, and $2.5 billion set aside for hurricane reconstruction projects in Puerto Rico. https://t.co/hNNc6ssfmP via @NBCNews
— Michiko Kakutani (@michikokakutani) January 11, 2019
Trump was told of the plan on Tuesday, which might explain this tweet.
This seemed a bit out of nowhere on Tuesday. Now that we know Trump is specifically thinking of diverting California disaster money to "the wall", it makes more sense. https://t.co/f0MYwpLQrd
— David Burbach (@dburbach) January 11, 2019