With Congress refusing to fund Donald Trump’s border wall and the extreme likelihood that a “national emergency” would be quickly challenged in the courts, the White House has a new strategy for funding a new fence. Politico calls it Mick Mulvaney’s “border wall cash grab.”
“Done by executive order, this plan would allow the White House to shift money from different budgetary accounts without congressional approval, circumventing Democrats who refuse to give Trump anything like the $5.7 billion he has demanded. Nor would it require a controversial emergency declaration.
“The emerging consensus among acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and top budget officials is to shift money from two Army Corps of Engineers’ flood control projects in Northern California, as well as from disaster relief funds intended for California and Puerto Rico. The plan willalso tap unspent Department of Defense funds for military construction, like family housing or infrastructure for military bases, according to three sources familiar with the negotiations.”
But this plan, like all the others, is not without controversy. This idea will also draw court challenges as it appears the White House is appropriating funds, which is the responsibility of the Congress. And it would also take money away from the Pentagon, which could hurt military readiness. From Politico:
“It will create a firestorm, once you start taking money that congressmen think is in their districts,” said Jim Dyer, a former staff director for the House Appropriations Committee. “You will cause yourself a problem if that money was directed away from any type of project or activity because I guarantee it has some constituency on Capitol Hill.”