Petition Urges Congress To Fund FEMA, Not Trump’s Border Wall

President Donald Trump has threatened a government shutdown over funding for the wall, while proposing to cut federal funds for the disaster relief agency.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, an online petition asking Congress to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency rather than President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexican border has amassed more than 15,000 signatures and counting, as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Care2 petition also criticizes Trump’s proposed cuts to FEMA’s funding.

“This is an absolutely absurd and harmful plan and we can’t let it happen,” the Care2 petition page reads.

In July, House Republicans allocated $1.6 billion for Trump’s wall in their proposed homeland security budget. Although it still falls well short of what the Department of Homeland Security estimates the wall would cost to construct, $1.6 billion could make a major difference to the response to Hurricane Harvey, including in funding to FEMA.

In his proposed 2018 budget, Trump suggested a $600 million cut to FEMA’s state and local programs. The 11 percent reduction from FEMA would make more funding available to the military.

Noting that the effects of Hurricane Harvey in Texas have been devastating, the petition page goes on to criticize Trump for threatening a government shutdown if Democrats in Congress do not support funding for the wall.

“Now, with the decision to raise the debt ceiling around the corner, Trump is still threatening to hold the whole process hostage in order to secure funding for his idiotic wall,” the petition page reads. “But the destruction from Hurricane Harvey and the necessary funds to help the people of Texas out needs to be more important that Trump’s wall.”

Although Harvey, now classified as a tropical storm, has moved to Louisiana, people in Texas were still urgently requesting help as waters continued to rise Tuesday night. Meanwhile, FEMA’s response to the disaster is at risk as Congress stares down the barrel of the Sept. 30 deadline to provide government funding.

FEMA administrator Brock Long has repeatedly warned that the agency’s recovery efforts in Texas are just beginning.

“FEMA is going to be [in Texas] for years,” he said in a CNN interview on Sunday. “This disaster is going to be a landmark event.”



Hurricane Harvey Aerial Images