45* is still clamoring for his border wall. Republicans are hoping to help him out by throwing flood victims in Houston and FEMA under the bus.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press reported that a group of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are eyeing a potential $876 million cut to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief account, which would deplete more than one-third of the $2.3 billion in remaining funds in the account if passed.
In February, Reuters calculated that the wall 45 is asking for would require an estimated $21.6 billion in taxpayer funds to construct, and would take more than three years to complete. While the wall was one of 45’s most oft-repeated campaign promises, the billionaire real estate tycoon and former game show host also promised that Mexico would be the one to pay for it.
But earlier this month, 45 was exposed in leaked transcripts of a January 27 phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for saying that the border wall wasn’t a serious proposal, and begged him to stop telling the media that he wouldn’t pay for it.
“From an economic issue, [the wall] is the least important thing we were talking about,” 45 said. “Psychologically, it means something.”
“You cannot say [you won’t pay for the wall] to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that,” 45 added. “You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”
The proposed FEMA cuts will be voted on as part of a 1,305-page spending bill that Congress will be voting on shortly after members return to Washington from a month-long recess. The cuts aren’t expected to pass, according to the AP, due to the bad optics of hurting victims suffering in the ongoing devastation resulting from Hurricane Harvey.
(*EDITOR’S NOTE: GritPost.com is now exclusively referring to Donald Trump as “45.” Please read our official statement on Twitter explaining the decision.)
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.