03/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/14/2019 21:16
(U.S. Senate) - Taking aim at President Donald Trump's emergency declaration as the Senate prepared to reject it on a bipartisan basis, U.S. Senator Jon Tester condemned the Administration's plan to siphon billions of dollars from the Military Construction budget in order to pay for a border wall.
The President's emergency declaration could raid money from ongoing military construction projects across the country, including projects at Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard, both located in Great Falls.
'Malmstrom is in critical need of a Weapons Generation Facility, and I have been fighting for years to ensure this project was included among the Air Force's top military construction priorities.' Tester said. 'But now we have to tell them that this critical project - which the Air Force has said they desperately need - could very well get kicked back down the list of priorities because the President would rather spend billions of military construction dollars on his wall.'
Tester continued: 'I hope my colleagues who vote for this plan are on the first plane back home to explain to their constituents why they shirked their basic duties. Explain to communities like Great Falls why they are ripping investments out of their town. And explain to our future leaders why it is ok to follow the Constitution only when it is politically expedient.'
The Administration announced that it will be taking $3.6 billion from the military construction budget to pay for the wall by using the National Emergency Declaration. This budget funds a wide range of projects across the United States which are consistently backlogged due to budget constraints.
Tester questioned leaders of the Air Force, National Guard Bureau, and Marine Corps to find out how military construction funding may be impacted by the national emergency declaration. Each presented Tester with different funding priorities, all of which may be impacted by the President's plan:
Tester stood up for Montana's military community by voting to overturn the President's emergency declaration. He was the only member of Montana's Congressional Delegation to support the measure.
You can watch Tester's speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate HERE.