- The Washington Times - Friday, January 11, 2019

A top Republican who just two days ago visited the border with President Trump on Friday cautioned the president against redirecting disaster relief money to build his border wall.

“I will tell you that I will oppose any reprogramming of Harvey disaster funds,” Sen. John Cornyn said in remarks to a Texas audience. “We worked very hard to make sure that the victims of Hurricane Harvey — their concerns are addressed and Texas is able to rebuild. And I think we are all together on that.”

The president is considering declaring a national emergency at the border, which he says would trigger powers to allow him to go around Congress and task the Pentagon with carrying out his border wall plans.

The job would likely fall to the Army Corps of Engineers, which would have to try to find money it could move within its existing budget — and a probable candidate is $17 billion in disaster recovery money approved last year to help communities rebuild after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

That money is being used for rebuilding everywhere from Puerto Rico to Florida, Texas and California, leaving a number of lawmakers who could be upset if anticipated money disappears.

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