When Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz greeted President Donald Trump on the tarmac of Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport’s Air Reserve Station Monday, he had two goals: Welcome the nation’s chief executive to Minnesota, as is customary for any state’s chief executive. Press him for federal disaster relief funds for much of the state, as the tolls from storms and flooding continues to rise. Two days earlier, Walz had been in Austin, meeting with National Guard officials and leaders from southern Minnesota, which, like much of the state, has been hit with various combinations of flooding and storm damage this spring. It’s been bad; officials say recovery costs will outstrip the usual go-to funding sources. “Their message to me was, ‘If you get a chance with the president, stress how important it is that we get this disaster relief,’ and that’s exactly what I did,” Walz said Tuesday. He had already sent a customary letter to Trump … [Read more...] about Tim Walz had 20 minutes with Donald Trump on Air Force One. Why he talked about only disaster relief (and Notre Dame fire).
Disaster relief emergency fund
WASHINGTON — A GOP-sponsored bill to provide disaster relief funding to states affected by hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters failed to secure the necessary votes Monday to advance to a final floor vote. The measure failed in a 44-49 vote, short of the 60 needed in order to proceed to final consideration. The proposal would have provided millions of dollars less than Democrats have said is needed to assist continued storm recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. The GOP alternative would have also included extra money for states hit by recent flooding in the Midwest, including Iowa. "Democrats should stop fighting Sen. David Perdue's disaster relief bill. They are blocking funding and relief for our great farmers and rural America!" President Trump tweeted Monday, ahead of the Senate vote. Perdue, a Georgia Republican, introduced the $13 billion aid package in late February, which has one Democratic co-sponsor: Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, and would provide $600 million for … [Read more...] about GOP disaster relief bill fails to advance in Senate
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force said on Wednesday that it needs $4.9 billion in extra funding over the next three years to rebuild and repair two key bases heavily damaged by natural disasters. “We desperately need the supplemental funding,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said, citing hurricane damage to Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida last fall and flood damage at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska this month. The call for emergency funding comes amid debate between the Trump administration and Congress over the White House’s proposal to repurpose billions of dollars in military construction money to help extend a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. The money sought by the Air Force — $1.2 billion this year and $3.7 billion in the 2020 and 2021 budget years — would have to be approved by Congress. Wilson said that if Congress does not take action by May or June the Air Force will have to put off dozens of construction and other improvement projects … [Read more...] about Air Force says it needs $4.9 billion in disaster relief
The Trump administration is mulling a new plan to secure funding for the border wall by reallocating existing federal money. The move would allow Trump to secure the funds without declaring a national emergency, and without triggering another government shutdown. White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the move is “entirely legal” because there are “pots of money” that presidents have access to. Critics of the plan disagree, and say the move would likely draw just as much blowback from Congress and the courts as a national emergency declaration would. President Donald Trump has been eyeing a move that could secure more funding for his border wall without resorting to declaring a national emergency – and it could allow him to save face to accept a deal in Congress that grants him just a fraction of the funding he has demanded. Trump has demanded $US5.7 billion for the wall, but just weeks … [Read more...] about Trump reportedly wants to grab funds intended for disaster relief, military housing, and flood-control projects to pay for his border wall
JILL COLVIN, LISA MASCARO, COLLEEN LONG and LOLITA C. BALDOR AP, January 10, 2019 WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is considering using billions in unspent disaster relief funds earmarked for areas including hurricane-pounded Puerto Rico and Texas and more than a dozen other states to pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall as he weighs signing a national emergency declaration to get it built without Congress. The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to comb through its budget, including $13.9 billion in emergency funds that Congress earmarked last year, to see what money could be diverted to the wall as part of a declaration. That’s according to a congressional aide and administration official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. It is the latest sign that the administration is laying the groundwork for a possible emergency order as negotiations between … [Read more...] about Trump administration eyes disaster money to fund border wall