Rossello 'ready to battle' Trump if disaster aid diverted to wall
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said he is ready for a battle with President Donald Trump if he redirects federal disaster aid from the Caribbean island and to the proposed border wall.
Rossello’s administration has evaluated their legal options if Trump were to use federal disaster aid that’s already been pegged for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria to instead help finance a barrier along the border with Mexico.
Congress approved the disaster funds and Trump signed the allocation into law, so those disaster relief funds are designated for the territory, Rossello said Tuesday on Bloomberg Radio.
"For most of the monies we have a strategy forward," Rossello said about his team’s legal plan if Trump took disaster aid away from the commonwealth. "And of course we hope we don’t have to get there. We hope that the president would see that rebuilding US citizens’ lives is a priority. But if it gets to that point, we are ready to battle."
Reports emerged last month that the White House may raid disaster-relief funds to circumvent Congress, where lawmakers’ refusal to back the project triggered the record setting government shutdown that ended last month.
Rossello is set to attend Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night as a guest of US Senator Charles Schumer. He’s been seeking to speed up the pace at which the federal government has been allocating disaster aid to the island.