Congress, Nancy, Army Corps Of Engineers discussed on 0 Show
Trump wants to increase his unilateral tariff power setting himself up for a fight with congressional Republicans. Plus, the US and China wrapped up trade talks this week on a somewhat optimistic note. But I the Trump administration has directed. The army corps of engineers to examine whether the wall could be funded using money from February twenty eighteen emergency funding package that included disaster relief for Puerto Rico and other areas, according to a congressional source familiar. Nancy, none of it is senior congressional correspondent at Bloomberg government. She joins us now for more on this by phone, Nancy. How big is this pot of money? Tell us about it. Well, it's billions of dollars, and it would have been spread all over the country in Puerto Rico for projects overseen by the army corps of engineers. And it includes projects that were designated in. California Kentucky a lot of places. But when money hasn't been obligated, and it sitting there, then it becomes attractive to people who are either looking to shift money elsewhere or to cut the budget. You know, that was my question about this. I thought that this was already specifically earmarked for disaster relief. But no, well until it's actually spent is still there and the army corps of engineers has a pot and it takes time to get these projects underway as you can imagine they takes a lot of work just to get them off the drawing board. And while the money's there. You know, it's foldable in some cases, usually congress can count on certain things that they have approved with an administration to be honored. But in this case this administration is looking at a lot of different things. And you don't know where where it will end up. So Nancy, I assume that this pot of money would cover the five point seven Bill. That the president is looking for. Yes. Yes. Although the administration is also looking for more money than for a wall or a barrier in recent days, they've been talking about the things that congress has been talking about this year the. The security upgrades. The non physical barriers different personnel different elements of border security, and you don't know how big something could get if a national disaster emergency rather was you know, was declared and the administration thought that it could go into an obligated funnies. It's very interesting because this is definitely something that a lot of members of congress in in times gone by not that long ago would have screamed about do you? Remember the line item veto? Struggles and struggles over line items. There's the whole issue of the power of the purse and under the constitution. Congress is supposed to have that authority over spending. And so people who care about the institution would often be very concerned about these types of most let's talk about the institution for a second. I wonder if congress would for for this to happen for the funds that are there for disaster relief to be diverted to build the wall would congress have to support that. And would they? I don't. A lot of members out in the leadership would be supportive of this just when you look down the list, obviously, there's money in there for California that probably wouldn't be very popular with the new speaker or with a Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, but there's also money in there for Kentucky and Mitch McConnell. The Senate leader couldn't be enthusiastic about that. I believe that there's a project money in there for Texas, and the Texas senators, I doubt what support a move to take away those funds so going into that pot of money really opens up some troubles. But it's something you know, that is there that could be looked at. So how would all of this work with the administration? Just, you know, an make an announcement and say, and then by Fiat just say, hey, here's this pot of money, and we've decided to spend it this way and notify congress. Would it work? Well, wondering how it would how it would work. It's come out very quickly. And Senator Grassley said that the White House was threatening this emergency action. But he said that even if they were able to go ahead with it the White House on its own. He said, it's a terrible precedent. That would go to the courts almost immediately. I suppose someone would look to try to block it in court while it was being considered Grassley is one of the people who said that it's a bad precedent because it's a threat to the her view of the legislative branch, and he really advises against it. And there are other members who would also be very opposed and today in the Senate and probably also the house, we're seeing more and more people Republicans here in the Senate coming forward with different proposals to try to. A show ways that Trump could get border money without going after appropriated funds and one of the other things that's been mentioned besides money under the control of the army corps is money in the budget for military construction. That's the annual Bill military construction and veterans affairs legislation. That's the money that congress applets aside for instruction projects on military bases for housing military families and other things annually, and there's some attention looking at that pot of money as well by the administration. Something to watch Nancy a senior congressional correspondent, Ed Bloomberg.