Jan 11, 2019

Cornyn opposes redirecting Harvey disaster funds for border wall

John Cornyn. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said Friday he opposes redirecting Hurricane Harvey disaster relief funds to build President Trump's border wall.

"We worked very hard to make sure that the victims of Hurricane Harvey — their concerns are addressed and Texas is able to rebuild. And I think we are all together on that.”

Why it matters: As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported Wednesday, the White House Office of Management and Budget has been exploring other creative ways to get Trump his wall money without having to go through Congress. Cornyn is not the only Republican who has spoken out against funneling funds from another federal program to build the wall. He only commented on Harvey disaster relief, however, and didn't voice an opinion on the broader idea of reprogramming funds through emergency powers.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.