Dem Rep. Threatens Retribution if Wall Funds Appropriated: The President Will ‘Pay a Heavy Price’
Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) appeared on CNN Wednesday to discuss the bill he is introducing to prevent President Donald Trump from using disaster relief funds to pay for a border wall. During the interview, he told anchor Kate Bolduan that if Trump goes through with it, there will be “a heavy price.”
In the beginning of the interview, Bolduan talked to Garamendi about whether the bill is necessary to protect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects, and he said that it is, because it would repeal prior legislation giving the Chief Executive the power to move that money. He emphasized that funding/appropriation is within the purview of Congress, not the President.
“Right now there’s $37 billion that the president could conceivably take out of communities around the nation, money that is desperately needed for economic development, for the waterways, for the ports, and even more important for flood protection in Houston and California and Puerto Rico and other places,” he said. “We don’t want him to do that.”
Further along in the interview, Bolduan played a clip of Budget Committee chair Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) saying that there are ways for the President to get the money without congress that they just “cannot prevent” and that they’ll have to “live with that.” Bolduan asked Garamendi if he agreed.
“Yarmouth is correct on the technical details,” he said. “However, there’s this thing called we don’t vacate the field. If the president goes over and overrides the appropriation processes, overrides the authority of Congress by moving significant amounts of money from one program to another, there is a thing called we’ll see you tomorrow, Mr. President. You’re going to have to come back here for all of your programs for everything.”
He repeated that ultimatum a few moments later.
“The coast guard provides a wall 1500 miles at sea. Now could the president take that money? He could. But I’ll guarantee you there would be tomorrow and when tomorrow comes the president would pay a heavy price in other things he might think are important.”
“That sounds like quite a threat coming from you, said Bolduan.
“Well, take it for what its, I don’t say things idly,” said Garamendi.
Watch the clip above courtesy of CNN.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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