Government Interference: Funding

Funding for Trump’s Border Wall may Take Money Away from Cedar Rapids Flood Protection Project


Jessie Koozer

The recent government shutdown was the longest in U.S. history and it was due to a disagreement between President Trump and Congress over funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The shutdown caused many difficulties among Americans, and forced some to work without pay.

The shutdown ended on Jan. 25th, because of a deal between the president and Congress that keeps the government open until Feb. 15. If there is not some sort of funding for the wall from Congress by Feb. 15, another shutdown will ensue. President Trump made it clear that if Congress did not provide money to fund the wall, he would find another way to get funding.

President Trump could declare a national emergency, which would allow him to use military funds for the border wall. But there are worries that using emergency funding could affect projects that need federal funding, such as the Cedar Rapids flood control system project.

In November 2018, Cedar Rapids was promised to receive $117 million from the federal government for flood protection. The money would be used to prevent disastrous floods, like the flood of 2008.

According to Representative Abby Finkenauer, funds that would be taken for the national emergency are funds that have been allocated but their contracts have not been signed yet. The Cedar Rapids flood protection funds fall into that area.

Although it is unknown if the project funding would for sure be affected by the national emergency, city officials are remaining calm.

“We spoke with Senator Ernst on January 14 to learn more about how or if a presidential emergency would impact federal funding for the Cedar Rapids flood control system project. Senator Ernst reassured us that the City is in a good position, and she will continue to advocate for us with the Army Corp and the Administration,” said Emily Breen, the communications coordinator for the city of Cedar Rapids.

Aside from issuing a national emergency, there are only a few options President Trump has to get funding for the border wall. The president could force the government to shut down again until Congress makes a deal, or end the shutdown without getting any funding for the border wall.