Trump’s border wall could be built with Puerto Rico reconstruction money

A view of the prototype wall samples looking through the U.S.-Mexico border fence on January 7, 2019, towards Tijuana, Mexico.

Funds meant for storm-damaged areas across the U.S. could
be reallocated for wall construction

As the impasse over President Trump’s request for billions of
dollars to fund a
border wall
extends the current
federal government shutdown
, administration officials have been
looking at alternative sources of funding. They may have found one:
reserves set aside for civil works projects, including
reconstruction projects for hurricane-damaged portions of Puerto
Rico.

According to three officials familiar with the plan who spoke to

NBC News
, the proposal, introduced by senior defense department
officials, would use a
national emergency declaration
to tap into some of the $13.9
billion set aside for Army Corps of Engineering projects.

This pool of money includes $2.4 billion earmarked for flood
protection projects in California, specifically the Yuba River
Basin and the Folsom Dam, as well as $2.5 billion set aside for
reconstruction in Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from the
devastation of 2017’s
Hurricane Maria
.

Previously, President Trump had requested $5.7 billion from
Congress to build 234 miles of border wall. This new plan,
according to unnamed federal officials quoted in the article, would
enable the Army Corps to build 315 miles of a 30-foot bollard-style
border wall in 18 months. The new construction would focus on three
areas: the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, San Diego and El Centro in
California, and Yuma, Arizona.

On Tuesday, during an Oval Office address that aired on
primetime networks, Trump argued there was a “crisis
at the border
,” leading some experts to speculate he might
declare a national emergency to fund the wall.

A Democratic staffer asked about the project said the proposal
would likely result in congressional Democrats submitting a
proposal to block the money from being reallocated.

The president’s desire for a border wall has resulted in an
ongoing government shutdown that has left more than 800,000 federal
employees, as well as numerous contractors, without pay, and closed
vital government functions, including
many national parks
.

If the shutdown over the wall funding continues, entitlements
and public assistance, including
housing rental assistance programs
, will run out of
funding.

Source: FS – All – Architecture 10
Trump’s border wall could be built with Puerto Rico reconstruction money