Washington, D.C.— Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Patrick Leahy, Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed, Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Vice Chair and Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, and Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Udall today released the following statement on President Trump’s plan to divert an additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funds for the border wall.
“This continued cannibalization of an additional $7.2 billion away from counter drug efforts and military construction projects to fund the president’s misguided border wall is another slap in the face to the members of the Armed Forces and their families. It is an embarrassment that Republicans allow the president to continue usurping Congress’s exclusive power of the purse and loot vital funds from our military. This decision adds to the harm already inflicted after the president took $6.3 billion from the Department of Defense last fiscal year, $3.6 billion of which was from already approved military construction projects intended to support our service members at military installations across the United States and around the world.
“Bipartisan majorities in Congress have repeatedly rejected diverting money from critical military construction projects to build a single additional mile of border wall. Robbing the Defense Department of these much-needed funds in order to boost his own ego and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build is an insult to the sacrifices made by our service members. Senate Democrats strongly oppose this action. We will continue to oppose the transfer of counterdrug funding for the wall, and will force yet another vote to terminate the President’s sham national emergency declaration and return these much-needed military construction funds back to our military.”