President Donald Trump is reportedly looking at his options to creatively find the funds needed for a border wall with Mexico, according to the NBC.
NBC reported that “President Donald Trump has been briefed on a plan that would use the Army Corps of Engineers and a portion of $13.9 billion of Army Corps funding to build 315 miles of barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the briefing.”
According to the report, the Commander-in-Chief is also exploring the possibility of using disaster-relief funding meant for Puerto Rico and California for the border wall.
If Trump declares a national emergency, he could also make use of the $13.9 billion Army Corps of Engineers fund intended for public works.
Of that money, reportedly $2.5 billion was already set aside for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and $2.4 billion was set to improve infrastructure in the Yuba River Basin in California.
When asked to comment on the proposal, a Democratic staffer told NBC that using money from the civil works project would be bad for Americans.
“Hundreds of thousands of people will be at risk if there is a strong or wet winter in these flood areas and the protection projects haven’t been completed,” the staffer said.
Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., was firmly against the plan and told NBC that Democrats would fight it “with every ounce of energy we have” to stop the president from using Army Corps funds to build a southern border wall.
“It would be beyond appalling for the president to take money from places like Puerto Rico that have suffered enormous catastrophes, costing thousands of American citizens lives, in order to pay for Donald Trump’s foolish, offensive and hateful wall,” Velázquez said.
“Siphoning funding from real disasters to pay for a crisis manufactured by the president is wholly unacceptable and the American people won’t fall for it.”