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house Bill H.R. 1137

Should the President Be Prohibited From Diverting Money from the Army Corps of Engineers During National Emergencies?

Argument in favor

Taking money that’s meant to go towards disaster recovery efforts is a dirty political trick that circumvents Congressional control over how public funds get spent. This bill would ensure that President Trump — and future presidents — can’t use national emergencies to get money for priorities that Congress doesn’t want to fund.

Jean's Opinion
···
03/06/2019
First there STILL is NO NATIONAL EMERGENCY. So funds should not be diverted from anywhere to support a NON-EXISTENT NATIONAL EMERGENCY!
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burrkitty's Opinion
···
03/06/2019
ACE money is project specific funding. Yanking money from the Army Corps of Engineers means that there are people who are not gonna get roads built, not gonna get dams built, not gonna have their beaches protected, not gonna get sea walls built, and not going to get repairs made to their old ports. You will literally be halting critical infrastructure projects. We are already struggling with our infrastructure disintegrating. And now they want to steal the money for a nonexistent “emergency“. No. I would also like to point out that more than 95% of the Army Corps of Engineers are civilians, not enlisted military. It may have army in the name and on paper, but it is NOT THE MILITARY. The only ACE unit that has soldiers is the one in Afghanistan and they are all reservists. Not active duty.
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Phillip's Opinion
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03/06/2019
There’s no real national emergency in the first place and even if it were I think it’s tragically sad that this sort of activity needs to be legislated to restrain the toddler in charge.
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Argument opposed

The legal authority that this bill seeks to eliminate hasn’t been used in the 30-plus years since its establishment. Even though the Trump administration has reportedly looked into diverting money from the Army Corps, it’s not a done deal — so it’s unclear whether there’s really a need for this bill.

Miles's Opinion
···
03/06/2019
CBP: 76,000 apprehensions alone in February 2019 at the southern border. Over 80% of ICE’s ~40,000 current detainees have committed crimes other than illegal immigration. Keep shielding your precious eyes so you can brainwash them to strengthen your voter base. Might as well have TVs playing CNN at the border.
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John's Opinion
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03/06/2019
President has Constitutional authority over the armed services whether we like who’s in office or not.
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Bob's Opinion
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03/06/2019
The armed forces are under his command. As the Executive and Commander in Chief he has the Constitutional power to adjust the funds apropriated in a national emergency.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Water Resources and Environment
    IntroducedFebruary 11th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1137?

This bill would eliminate a provision from the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 that authorizes presidents to divert funding form the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works budget during a presidentially declared national emergency.

Impact

States; Army Corps of Engineers; presidentially declared national emergencies; Water Resources Development Act of 1986; and the president.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1137

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. John Garamendi (D-CA) introduced this bill to prevent President Trump from diverting disaster recovery funds from Army Corps civil workers projects to build his border wall:

“Taking recovery funds from disaster victims as ransom for a border wall would be a new low, even for this President. $14 billion in disaster-recovery funds are at risk of being gutted, including $2.5 billion each from civil works projects in California and Puerto Rico. No President has ever raided disaster-recovery funds, and we should not allow President Trump to be the first. My legislation would fully repeal the President’s authority to raid critical disaster recovery funds from the Army Corps of Engineers to build his misguided border wall.”

In an interview with The Reporter after introducing this bill, Rep. Garamendi said he’d heard from contacts within the Trump administration that Budget Director Mick Mulvaney had been searching for money for the border wall:

“The civil works projects were targeted earlier on, and the California projects were further selected as potential targets for being redirected. For Sacramento, there is just short $2 billion of dam and levee improvements for the city of Sacramento and the region. That project has been underway for more than a decade, and it’s coming to completion to develop a 200-year flood protection for the urban Sacramento area. If this money is ripped off to build a wall, it is absolutely certain the life-threatening weakness of these levees will not be solved.”

In a letter to his Congressional colleagues seeking cosponsors for this bill, Rep. Garamendi noted that there are billions of dollars, as well as Congress’ constitutional authority, at stake:

“Some $37.7 billion is at risk for civil works projects in nearly every state and U.S. territory. Earlier this year, President Trump reviewed a list of Army Corps projects funded by supplemental disaster-recovery money. Together, these civil works projects total more than $13.9 billion appropriated by Congress for communities nationwide recovering from hurricanes, wildfires, and floods. Raiding such funds would endanger communities in many of our districts and undermine Congress’s constitutional authority. My bill would simply strike a section from the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (33 U.S.C. 2293), which authorizes the Executive Branch to unilaterally re-program Army Corps civil works funds during Presidentially declared national emergencies. According to the Congressional Research Service, no president has ever invoked this 1986 provision originally intended for civil defense during the Cold War. Striking this antiquated authority would safeguard funds appropriated by Congress for Army Corps civil works projects, now and forever. I invite all Members—Democrats and Republicans—to join me in cosponsoring this bill reasserting Congress’s constitutional authority to appropriate federal funds.”

This bill has 38 Democratic cosponsors.


Of NoteThe legal authority that this bill would revoke was originally requested by the Reagan administration for Congressionally declared wars and national emergencies requiring civil defense during the Cold War. The Congressional Research Service reports that no president has ever invoked this authority.

In January 2019, Rep. Garamendi received confirmation that the Trump administration was considering diverting nearly $5 billion in disaster recovery funding from Army Corps projects in California and Puerto Rico to fund construction of the president’s promised border wall. In February 2018, Congress approved this disaster recovery funding for Army Corps civil work projects in response to damage from wildfires and hurricanes in both those areas. Rep. Garamendi and other Congressional Democrats identified this provision as a possible legal authority for President Trump to divert Army Corps funding for the border wall.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / zim286)

AKA

To amend the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 to repeal the authority relating to reprogramming during national emergencies.

Official Title

To amend the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 to repeal the authority relating to reprogramming during national emergencies.

    First there STILL is NO NATIONAL EMERGENCY. So funds should not be diverted from anywhere to support a NON-EXISTENT NATIONAL EMERGENCY!
    Like (148)
    Follow
    Share
    CBP: 76,000 apprehensions alone in February 2019 at the southern border. Over 80% of ICE’s ~40,000 current detainees have committed crimes other than illegal immigration. Keep shielding your precious eyes so you can brainwash them to strengthen your voter base. Might as well have TVs playing CNN at the border.
    Like (80)
    Follow
    Share
    ACE money is project specific funding. Yanking money from the Army Corps of Engineers means that there are people who are not gonna get roads built, not gonna get dams built, not gonna have their beaches protected, not gonna get sea walls built, and not going to get repairs made to their old ports. You will literally be halting critical infrastructure projects. We are already struggling with our infrastructure disintegrating. And now they want to steal the money for a nonexistent “emergency“. No. I would also like to point out that more than 95% of the Army Corps of Engineers are civilians, not enlisted military. It may have army in the name and on paper, but it is NOT THE MILITARY. The only ACE unit that has soldiers is the one in Afghanistan and they are all reservists. Not active duty.
    Like (76)
    Follow
    Share
    President has Constitutional authority over the armed services whether we like who’s in office or not.
    Like (54)
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    There’s no real national emergency in the first place and even if it were I think it’s tragically sad that this sort of activity needs to be legislated to restrain the toddler in charge.
    Like (53)
    Follow
    Share
    The armed forces are under his command. As the Executive and Commander in Chief he has the Constitutional power to adjust the funds apropriated in a national emergency.
    Like (52)
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    It's the job of Congress to allocate funds and these funds that have been allocated for a specific purpose should not be available for the president to use as he sees fit.
    Like (34)
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    Hey, you progressives! You had a chance to fund the wall. Now you find out Trump has used a frequent way to find money to solve a national disaster. Part of that protect and defend pledge.
    Like (32)
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    Most of those 76000 people weren’t “apprehended” they turned themselves over most at ports of entry, so they could seek asylum. Use the whole fact not just part of it. The President should not be able to use ANY funds not allocated by Congress!
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    He is the President.. it’s the job of that office to oversee the army and to mobilize funds and services in national emergencies as the commander and chief... get over it you triggered liberal trolls... Hillary and Bernie lost, deal with it.
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    If the president is working within the laws I say YES. I totally disagree with anyone trying to CHANGE the law because they don’t like our president. It’s high time all of us start doing what’s BEST for the country.
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    With the huge emergency at the border, the whole government should be acting as one to put up the wall and man it. But the democrats have their treasonous heads up their ass. The president can divert money to protect our country, as he should. You traitors aren’t going to do anything to help us, the president is. Stop trying to destroy our country!
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    More democrat obstruction! Let the President do his job protecting our borders and citizens. Congress has become ineffective in doing their jobs. Congress has failed the American citizens and should be voted out if they fail to protect our borders. Build the wall!
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    No. The president should be able to do what congress has allowed every president before the current one to do.
    Like (17)
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    Democrats should be prohibited from diverting money away from national emergencies.
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    No it’s fully within his authority to use monies from any department of the Federal government, monies which have already been appropriated. #MAGA
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    Yes he should be blocked— he can’t legally divert money From anywhere— that’s the Constitutional responsibility of the Congress. Note that most importantly here he’s neutralizing-the power of the Constitution to commit an illegal act. Let him do it once and he will become the complete dictator he always was. That’s what’s most important here he’s violating the constitution and half of the people are begging him to do it. Sad and shameful.
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    It’s a very dangerous thing to do. As climate change progresses, we will need even more money for increased natural disasters.
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    If this is true Dems, why did you allow Obama to send $1,500,000,000 to Iran, who has vowed ‘Death to America’?
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    👎🏻👎🏻 House Bill H.R. 1137 AKA “To amend the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 to repeal the authority relating to reprogramming during national emergencies.” 👎🏻👎🏻 I’m strongly opposed and don’t recommend the passage of the House Bill H.R. 1137 AKA “To amend the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 to repeal the authority relating to reprogramming during national emergencies.” Again we’re seeing another strong Democratic attempt to usurp the President’s Congressional authority. The legal authority that this bill seeks to eliminate hasn’t been used in the 30-plus years since its establishment. Even though the Trump administration has reportedly looked into diverting money from the Army Corps, it’s not a done deal — so it’s unclear whether there’s really a need for this bill. SneakyPete......... 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻. 3*6*19..........
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