You can’t use that money for your stupid wall

So say Democratic members of Congress from Texas, and they’re asking the Treasury Department to back them up.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett

Texas Democrats in Congress are irate that Gov. Greg Abbott can divert federal funds intended for COVID-19 relief to build a border wall. On Monday, they asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to step in and block the state from using any of its $15.8 billion windfall for this “costly monstrosity.”

“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 13 Texas lawmakers wrote.

Abbott announced a $250 million “down payment” on June 16 for Texas to build its own border wall, using funds from the state prison budget.

That’s one-tenth of the annual prison budget, but law and order allies seemed unconcerned. In March, Congress approved $1.9 trillion for pandemic relief, including $350 billion for state and local governments to use in almost any way they want, other than tax cuts or deposits to a pension fund.

Abbott’s office does not dispute that he intends to backfill the prison budget using the pandemic relief funds, though he hasn’t touted that aspect of his plan.


Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin circulated the letter among fellow Texas Democrats in the House.

“Just as he unsuccessfully tried to steal federal education money from our schools, I would not be surprised if Abbott tries to divert other federal recovery funds from Texans” to project toughness on border security ahead of his reelection bid next year, Doggett said.

In the letter to Yellen, the Texans argue that the federal relief fund was meant to help states provide “premium pay to essential workers, assistance for small businesses, public health measures to respond to COVID-19, and investments in government services, including public facilities and infrastructure.”

Not a single Republican in the House or Senate supported the $1.9 trillion package, which makes it even more galling to Democrats that the largesse could subsidize more border wall.

Treasury is finalizing rules on exactly how states can spend the funds.

The Texans asked the department to make clear “that these Recovery Funds cannot be used for a border wall, fence, or similar installation. This rule should also be clear that this prohibition cannot be subverted by accounting tricks that use Recovery Funds to supplant state funds, which are then used to construct a wall.”

While the $250 million Abbott shifted from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice isn’t enough to build more than “a token, symbolic portion of this costly monstrosity,” the Democrats wrote, “it certainly should not be paid for directly or indirectly with federal Recovery Funds in defiance of President Biden’s direction to cease wall construction.”

Here’s the letter, which was signed by all 13 Congressional Dems from Texas. This seems like a pretty clear case to me, and I would have a hard time seeing why Secretary Yellin would say no to this. That said, this will surely draw a lawsuit from Abbott and Paxton, so we should make sure there’s legal ground to stand on. Assuming there is, then by all means block this money grab. Let Abbott crowdfund his way out of this; he’s got a long way to go at this rate. The Chron and the Current have more.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in La Migra, National news and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to You can’t use that money for your stupid wall

  1. Lobo says:


    That border wall ain’t stupid. No! It’s a brilliant multi-purpose project to keep unwanted climate change out, and Texas exceptionally miraculous.

    After all, more Mex-Tex immigrants would mean more methane-rich farts which would add to the burden of having to flare off all that redundant natural gas we are already venting after digging into fossil layers deep down at considerable expense.


    Secondly, and of commensurate ingenuity, the cabled-together steel structure will attract and channel high-powered strikes of enlightenment from the sky, to be fed into to Texas power grid for even greater seasonal reliability.

    This will unquestionably be a boon to the Lone Star economy by (1) making the wholesale price for electricity distributed through the portions of the grid that are not intermittantly fried by high-voltage flashes of lightenting rise to new heights of $9,000 (i.e., system-wide offer-cap gold-rush time not seen since the industry-friendly February arctic incursion); and (2) create good jobs for mending and repairing the transmission wires and blown transformers that weren’t quite ready to handle the heavenly surge-load passed to the ERCOT grid from the Tex-Mex border fence.

    All it takes to find good usages for crowd and fed funded walls and fences is a little enlightened brain storming by an energy-oriented sparkyman on a roll.

    FILE UNDER: modest proposals, swift solutions, serious half-sizzled satire

    Scholarly reference:

  2. Bill Daniels says:


    Cute, but incorrect. If you’re worried about electricity and fossil fuel use increasing worldwide, and think that’s bad, then the thing you absolutely do NOT want to do is mass import 3rd Worlders to the 1st World, where even though they will be a permanent underclass in the US, their carbon footprints will dramatically INCREASE.

    Think about it. Most of them probably don’t have air conditioning in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, even Mexico. Most don’t have cars. But they’ll sneak into the US, and they’ll move to shithole apartments in the US that HAVE air conditioning, and they’ll eventually buy shitty cars and trucks that spew pollution, because they’re cheap to get into.

    So, simply by mass moving people to the 1st World, you’ve caused energy use to spike, which, as we all know (muh science being settled and all) causes global warming/new ice age/acid rain/more hurricanes/global climate change.

    Worried about the climate? Build that wall and keep the 3rd World IN the 3rd World, where they won’t consume much energy and thus won’t contribute to global warming.

    The fact that we also keep out human traffickers, cartel violence, drugs, and a bunch of sad sack uneducated, unskilled people that will never pull their own weight here is just a bonus. Saving the lives of girls and women who won’t be trafficked for sexual slavery because the odds of them getting in are slim would be a nice benefit for those girls and women. Saving Americans from suffering the same fate as Kate Steinle would also be nice. Saving the border ranchers from constant harassment, economic loss, and fear would be nice. Hurting the pocketbooks of the Mexican cartels would be nice. Lots of nice stuff happens when we stop the assault on our Southern Border.

  3. Bill Daniels says:


    If I was running against those 13 Democrats who wrote the letter, I’d use that letter in my campaign literature, especially if I was running in the Rio Grand Valley, but really everywhere in Texas. The more folks that are negatively impacted by the hordes pouring across the border, the more folks are going to want to vote to stop it.

    I see this like red light cameras. Everyone thinks its a great idea, because of course they would never be impacted personally, so screw the other folks. Then, as the cameras ensnare more and more people, they see it hurt them personally and they want them gone.

    Open borders is just like those traffic cameras, it will be a victim of its own success, as people are murdered, their kids overdose, crime increases, schools and hospitals are flooded with free riders, etc.

Comments are closed.