DSCC - Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

01/14/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/14/2020 14:37

Spineless Senate Republicans Who Backed Last Year’s Military Cash Grab Again Silent As Trump Threatens to Raid Billions More

January 14, 2020 Press Releases

Vulnerable Senate Republicans Repeatedly Upheld Cash Grab From Urgently Needed Home-State Military Projects, Now Silent as Administration Threatens to Divert Billions More

The Washington Post reports that just months after Senate Republicans voted to allow a multi-billion dollar raid on military funds, the Trump administration is planning to divert more than $7 billion in additional funds intended for military construction and anti-drug operations. Last year, vulnerable Senate Republicans - including Thom Tillis, Cory Gardner, Martha McSally, John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - repeatedly voted to uphold the president's sham emergency declaration. That came at a staggering cost to military construction projects, including many to keep servicemembers and their families safe, in their states and around the world.

'Spineless Senate Republicans opened the door to this reckless raid on military funds when they repeatedly voted to uphold the president's multibillion-dollar cash grab last year,' said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. 'Republican Senators jeopardized crucial projects to keep their states' military communities safe and prepared last year, and these craven lawmakers are silent as the president threatens to raid billions more - once again choosing political expediency over protecting their states.'

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Washington Post: Trump planning to divert additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funds for border wall

By Nick Miroff

January 14, 2020

Key Points:

  • President Trump is preparing to divert an additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funding for border wall construction this year, five times what Congress authorized him to spend on the project in the 2020 budget, according to internal planning figures obtained by The Washington Post.
  • The Pentagon funds would be extracted, for the second year in a row, from military construction projects and counternarcotics funding.
  • Trump took $2.5 billion from military counterdrug programs for border barrier construction in 2019, but this year his administration is planning to take significantly more - $3.5 billion. Trump administration officials also are planning to take $3.7 billion in military construction funding, slightly more than the $3.6 billion diverted in 2019.
  • The move would bring the total amount of federal funds allocated to border fencing to $18.4 billion under Trump, who made the border barrier a priority during his campaign for the presidency in 2016. He also pledged to make Mexico pay for the barrier, delighting crowds at his rallies.
  • Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser whom the president had placed in charge of the border wall project, had discussions last summer with top military officials about once more siphoning money from the Pentagon budget to construct the barriers.
  • Several dozen Pentagon construction projects were delayed or suspended as a result of last year's reprogramming of $3.6 billion, including road repairs, a waste treatment plant and school construction projects on military bases. It's unclear if those projects will be delayed again, or if a different set of repairs and improvements could be postponed.

Read the full story here.

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