US Military Lists Possible Cuts to Fund Border Wall

Clay Curtis
March 21, 2019

The document listed hundreds of projects envisioned around the USA and the world that are worth around $12.9 billion US.

Lawmakers also were assured that construction of military housing, barracks or dormitories would not be touched, but several housing projects were on the list.

The list includes almost an entire page of elementary, middle and high school projects, a working dog treatment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and a fire and rescue station at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

The list was first made public by Sen. The list also includes projects exempt from losing funds.

On February 15, a defiant Trump declared a national emergency to bypass Congress and fulfil his long-pending demand of building the wall along the border with Mexico.

The Pentagon has not said which of the hundreds of projects on the list would be cut or delayed to build the wall.

When Trump declared an emergency on the southern border to take money from other parts of the government to pay for his wall that no one really wants or needs, he set in motion a showdown between the constitutional requirement that the Congress approve all spending by the United States and the executive branch (Trump), which in this case wants to spend as it pleases. Officials still need to determine which of those projects would support the use of the armed forces.

It would have been far better, I believe, if the Congress had stood up with veto-proof majorities to make that decision crystal clear.

Pentagon
An aerial view of the Pentagon in Arlington Va. on Aug. 30 2018

In a memo attached to the list, the Pentagon said it has included the $3.6 billion in the fiscal year 2020 budget request to guarantee the construction of the affected projects.

The list became a heated topic during acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan's visit to Capitol Hill to discuss the proposed Pentagon budget.

Reed received the 20-page list Monday and subsequently released it on Twitter, warning that "military bases in your state could be negatively impacted". That did not happen.

But critics noted that McSally joined most other Republicans in the House and Senate by refusing to vote against Trump's declaration of an emergency after Congress denied him the funding he wanted for a border wall. Democrats expressed hope that by knowing which local projects could be targeted, lawmakers would be likelier to override Trump's veto of a measure aimed at preventing the cuts.

Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said her chamber would vote on March 26 to override the veto. Besides those that nearly always vote against the president (I am not sure how they call themselves Republicans) there were those that voted with the left on principle, saying the Congress should have funded the barrier and not forced the president to take the emergency declaration route.

"Those Republican Senators who voted in favor of Strong Border Security (and the Wall) are being uniformly praised as they return to their States". That may help shore up his political base, but it could come at the expense of our military bases and the men and women of our armed forces who rely on them.

Evan Hollander, a spokesperson for Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, also reacted angrily stating: "Today's submission is just a list that tells Congress what projects it already approved, and is nothing more than another stall tactic created to delay the political consequences of President Trump's emergency declaration".

On CBS' "Face The Nation" program Sunday, Sen.

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