As President Trump scrambles to find someone to pay for his border wall, the Army Corps of Engineers have reportedly provided him with a new piggy bank: Puerto Rico.
The Army Corps' $13.9 billion budget has been divvied up to subsidize various projects around the country, but the President has been briefed on a proposal that could see him dip into those funds, three officials told NBC News.
Among the planned projects are $2.5 billion for post-Hurricane Maria reconstruction projects in Puerto Rico, nearly half of the $5.7 billion proposed cost of Trump's 234-mile border wall, according to NBC.
The President has long resisted providing financial aid to the millions of Americans still dealing with Maria's devastating effects in Puerto Rico.
"The people of Puerto Rico are wonderful but the inept politicians are trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay off other obligations," he tweeted in late October. "The U.S. will NOT bail out long outstanding & unpaid obligations with hurricane relief money!"
He has also regularly refused to accept the official death toll, set at 2,975 people, and accused Democrats of trying to "make me look as bad as possible."
Other Army Corps funds could also be reallocated from flood prevention and protection projects in California, according to NBC News.
But Democrats would still be in a position to block the funds from being moved if this plan goes ahead.
"There are several discussions being had that would aim to protect Texas, California and Puerto Rico's disaster recovery dollars from being used for the unintended purpose of an expensive and ineffective wall," a congressional source involved in ongoing discussions told the Daily News.
Nydia Velazquez, a longtime Democratic New York congresswoman and the first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress, blasted the plan.
"It would be beyond appalling for the President to take money from places like Puerto Rico that have suffered enormous catastrophes, costing thousands of American citizens lives, in order to pay for Donald Trump's foolish, offensive and hateful wall," she said in a statement.
"Siphoning funding from real disasters to pay for a crisis manufactured by the President is wholly unacceptable and the American people won't fall for it. My Democratic colleagues in Congress and I will fight such a move with every ounce of energy we have."
Trump is currently refusing to sign a budget that does not include $5.7 billion for his wall, while Democrats refuse to put the money into a budget.
Dan Caldwell, the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, and Jon Soltz, the chairman for VoteVets on MSNBC's Morning Joe on March 18 discussing their campaign to see Congress end America's Forever Wars. (MSNBC/Youtube)
Two political veterans groups, one conservative, the other liberal, have spent millions fighting each other on various fronts, from Department of Veterans Affairs reform — what one group calls "choice" and the other calls "privatization" — to getting their pick of candidates into office.
But they've found common ground on at least one issue: It's time for Congress to have an open debate about ending the Forever Wars.
Up to 1,000 U.S. troops could remain in Syria — more than twice as many as originally announced, according to the Wall Street Journal.
President Donald Trump initially announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but U.S. officials said in February that several hundred troops are expected to remain in Syria to create a "safe zone" along the border with Turkey and to man the al-Tanf garrison, which is located along a supply rote that would allow Iran to supply its proxies in Syria.
On Sunday, Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported that the U.S. military is considering leaving as many as 1,000 troops in Syria to prevent Turkey from attacking the United States' Kurdish allies. So far, the United States and Turkey have failed to agree on how to secure the proposed safe zone.
U.S. Army Sgt. James R. Moore of Portland, Ore., a logitstics NCO with the 642nd Regional Support Group, shoots at the Fort Pickett rifle range as part of the Mortuary Affairs Exercise Aug. 15, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte, 642nd Regional Support Group)
White supremacists take part in a march the night before the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, VA. (Associated Press photo)
Seven U.S. service members have reportedly been identified as members of Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group founded by a Marine veteran and tied to the 2017 Charlottesville rally, according to leaked online chat logs examined by HuffPost.