A national butterfly preserve is the latest flashpoint in the border wall debate as Democrats accuse the GOP of rigging the process to slip wall funding into a pack of House spending bills possibly up for a vote this week, NBC News reported.
While there are not specific details on exactly where $1.6 billion proposed for President Trump's border wall will be spent, an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, calls for $498 million to go to 28 miles of "new bollard levee wall" in Hidalgo County in Texas' Rio Grande Valley — home to the National Butterfly Center.
The butterfly center’s executive director Marianna Treviño Wright said she found a work crew on the butterfly center’s property last week, and she worried that their efforts might be related to construction of the proposed border wall. The workers had chain saws and work trucks and had cut and shred brush, trees and plants, she said. Treviño Wright said she found surveyor stakes and "X" marks on the property. She posted photos on the center’s web site and Facebook page.
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In a previously issued statement, the Army Corps of Engineers denied that its contractors cleared or removed trees at the center, but acknowledged the crew placed X markings on the ground for mapping and wooden stakes flagging proposed locations to bore holes for possible construction. The agency said its contractor collected two soil samples from the levee but did so away from the butterfly center.