As part of his effort to obtain more funding for his border wall than Congress allotted, President Donald Trump plans to divert money intended for housing for military families and disaster relief to his all fund, according to Salon.
Trump is expected to sign a spending bill to avert another government shutdown after a bipartisan group of lawmakers reached a deal that would give him $1.375 billion for a border barrier, CNN reported, well below the $5.7 billion he has repeatedly demanded.
Despite saying that he was “unhappy” with the deal, Trump declared on Twitter that he expects the congressional funds to be “hooked up with lots of money from other sources” and predicted he will get “almost $23 billion.”
Salon noted that Politico recently reported on efforts by White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and top budget officials to skirt Congress and pull money from other areas, including using “executive powers to redirect money set aside for two Army Corps of Engineers flood control projects in California, as well as relief funds for that state and for the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico”.
The plan would also use unspent Defense Department funds intended for constructing housing for military families and military base infrastructure to fund the wall.
Mulvaney hinted at the plan during an appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” Sunday.
“There are certain sums of money that are available to the president, to any president,” Mulvaney said. “So you comb through the law at the president's request ... And there's pots of money where presidents, all presidents, have access to without a national emergency.”
Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma was not impressed with the administration’s plan to take money from military families and use the Army Corps of Engineers to put a barrier on the southern U.S. border.
"These are two bad choices,” Inhofe said Tuesday, while adding that he is more opposed to military construction funds being used.
“Leave military construction alone,” he said.