Texas Democrats urge Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to block Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to use COVID-19 relief funds on former President Donald Trump’s border wall.
The initial funding on the project was allotted from the state’s budget, and after a failed attempt to crowdfund the project, lawmakers are concerned the remainder of the border wall will be financed by funds distributed for COVID relief.
The ongoing dispute over this border wall has been the latest on the border situation. With the number of migrants crossing increasing, Abbott has declared an immigration “disaster”.
Galveston County Judge Mark Henry has already begun distributing COVID relief funds provided to the county towards the border wall.
“We have seen an increase in violent and organized crime…” Henry said, “We have seen an increased flow of drugs. We have had drugs wash up on the beach in Galveston County.”
However, Henry did not provide any information on the correlation between the increase in crime to immigration.
After Galveston County signed a disaster declaration dedicating 10 percent of the funds provided by the American Rescue Plan intended to provide COVID relief, $6 million, Texas democrats worry that Abbott will continue to use these funds to finance the project.
Every Texas Democrat signed a letter urging Treasury Secretary Yellen to make a formal rule banning the usage of the funds for “a border wall, fence, or similar installation” or replenishing the state budget used on the wall.
“We are concerned by the prospect of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s potential misuse of these funds to continue the misguided plans of President Trump to extend a wall along the border between Texas and Mexico.” The Texas Democrats continued in the letter.
Abbott plans to hold a special legislative session in order to determine how the COVID relief funds provided to Texas will be allocated.