Republicans Hoping to Divert $1 Billion Disaster Funds to Mexican Wall Proposal

A spending bill is up for consideration this week and as part of deliberation on the bill, Republicans will be talking about funding the Mexican wall proposal. The building of the wall has been one of the most significant aspects of the President's campaign promises and Trump has reiterated his determination to have the wall built several times during his presidency. The funding for the wall is the major roadblock and also a big bone of contention between the U.S. and Mexico which has no plans to encourage any such border restrictions.

FEMA disaster relief account reduction pending

The funds for the wall may come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief account if Republicans have their way. The proposed reduction to this account will be discussed in the spending bill coming up now. About $876 million is proposed to be reduced from this relief fund and diverted towards homeland security activities. The Mexican wall building is part of these security measures proposed by the President. If the cut goes through, the funds accumulating will be enough to match about half of the down payment towards the wall's construction.

Houston flood puts a crimp in plans

The crisis situation in Houston has raised doubts about whether cuts to the disaster relief fund can go through now. In Houston, thousands have had to find refuge in shelters as homes have been submerged under water from the onslaught of the tropical cyclone Harvey. With only about $2.3 billion left in the relief account and the current scenario in Texas, which has been severely afflicted, it is highly unlikely that fund cuts will be viewed with favor right now.

Meanwhile, the pressing need to pass a spending bill to ensure that the administration can continue to function in the coming months grows even more significant and there are other critical legislative deadlines pending for the officials to decide upon. The tax reform bill, which has been pending for long, is yet another critical matter that has to be finalized soon. The President's relationship with his party's key members has been progressively deteriorating of late and this raises further questions upon how quickly decisions can be reached. A meeting between the President and Congress leaders is scheduled to take place by the middle of next week and this will mark their first official meeting after the recess.

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