Puerto Rico governor hits Trump over talk of using disaster funding for wall

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Friday tore into President Trump over reports he might reallocate natural disaster funding to build a border wall, warning that while the island is affected others could be hurt in the future.

“No wall should be funded on the pain and suffering of US citizens who have endured tragedy and loss through a natural disaster,” Rosselló wrote on Twitter. “This includes those citizens that live in [California], [Texas], [Puerto Rico], [Virgin Islands] and other jurisdictions. Today it’s us, tomorrow it could be you.”

{mosads}The Trump administration is reportedly considering redirecting unused money allocated for hurricane disaster relief in areas like Puerto Rico and Texas to pay for the president’s long-desired wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Rosselló said there is “no justification” for U.S. money to be taken from citizens trying to rebuild their communities.

“If anything, the conversation should be how to get more resources to rebuild those impacted areas faster,” the governor wrote.

He asked Trump whose side the president is on.

“Mr. President, do not tear down US citizens in order to build a wall. Help the USA rebuild,” Rosselló wrote.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment regarding Rosselló’s remarks.

The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to look over its budget, including $13.9 billion in emergency funds from Congress, to see what money could be rerouted to a border wall.

“I can tell you that’s definitely an option that has been presented to the president. Nothing has been finalized yet though,” an administration official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, told The Hill.

Trump is eyeing a national disaster bill as a partial government shutdown enters its third week on Friday. He may declare a national emergency to circumvent negotiations with Democrats in Congress if they cannot reach a real on funding for his wall.

The president has reportedly been seeking to end federal relief money for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017, the worst natural disaster on record to hit the island.

He claimed without evidence that the money is being misused and mismanaged, according to an Axios report from November. 

Tags Border wall Donald Trump federal disaster relief Government shutdown Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Ricardo Rosselló
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