What They’re Saying: Editorial Boards Across The Country Slam President Trump For Diverting Military Construction Funds To His Unnecessary, Ineffective Border Wall That He Promised Mexico Would Pay For

September 17, 2019


Bloomberg Editorial: Trump’s Wall Threatens the Nation’s Defenses. “Kudos to the Pentagon for shedding more light on an enduring mystery of Donald Trump’s administration: Who will pay for building a wall along the 2,000-mile U.S. border with Mexico? The answer: Not Mexico, as the president has frequently declaimed, but American taxpayers — at the expense of the nation’s defense.” [Bloomberg, 9/8/19]

Washington Post Editorial: The Collateral Damage for Trump’s Wall is Now Clear. “Now that President Trump has pillaged $3.6 billion in congressionally approved military construction funds to pay for part of his border wall, the collateral damage is becoming clear. That big update scheduled for the U.S. Military Academy's engineering center? Gone. Five major hurricane-related repair projects on military bases in Puerto Rico? Not happening. Hundreds of millions of dollars to build and refurbish schools for American military children at U.S. facilities at home and overseas? Sorry, kids: Mr. Trump wants his wall - the one it turns out Mexico is not paying for.” [Washington Post, 9/7/19]

New York Times Editorial: Fake Invasion, Real Defense Cuts. “President Trump often boasts about his enthusiasm for robust Pentagon spending — now at more than $700 billion annually — and argues it should be even higher in the future. Yet he seemed quite comfortable this week desperately raiding the defense budget for the second time to deliver on his thwarted campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexican border. You know, the one Mexico was going to pay for.” [New York Times, 9/6/19]

Houston Chronicle (TX) Editorial: How’s Trump’s Immigration Obsession is Hurting National Security. “Trump’s emphasis on immigration is also impacting the military in a different way, with $3.6 billion in Pentagon funding diverted to building his long-promised — and questionably effective — border wall.” [Houston Chronicle, 9/15/19]

Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Editorial: Trump’s Fake Wall Now Hurts the Military. “This unwise fixation on an unnecessary wall is harming America’s national security interests. Count it as one more broken promise from a president who pledged to keep America’s military strong… America doesn’t need a wall across the whole stretch of the border with Mexico. It needs comprehensive legislation to encourage legal immigration and to eliminate incentives for illegal border crossings. But Trump has done nothing to fix the system. He has only made it worse and depleted national defense in the process.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 9/15/19]

Waco Tribune-Herald (TX) Editorial: So Much for the Constitution, U.S. Military. “Three years later? President Trump quickly discovered Mexico wouldn’t pay for the wall. He also discovered some pesky constitutional protocols designed to deter authoritarian governance, including the separation of powers so eloquently championed by his own Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, in his new book, ‘A Republic, If You Can Keep It,’ released last week. So Trump declared a dubious emergency to circumvent the power of the purse that the Constitution strictly reserves to Congress. And now he raids Pentagon coffers to build his border wall, congressional appropriations for the U.S. military be damned.” [Waco Tribune-Herald, 9/14/19]

San Antonio Express-News (TX) Editorial: Restore Funds for Camp Bullis Dining Hall. “Plans for a new dining hall at Camp Bullis are indefinitely on hold now that funds have been siphoned away to build part of President Donald Trump's border wall. It's the same story with a middle school at Fort Campbell, an Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. The border wall has stalled an ambulatory care center in North Carolina and a planned fire station in South Carolina. Hurricane recovery projects in Puerto Rico and Guam are also on hold. These are just some of the 127 construction projects that have been suspended as the Pentagon shifts $3.6 billion to the wall. The funds should cover 11 sections of the wall, spanning 115 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border.” [San Antonio Express-News, 9/14/19]

Tacoma News Tribune (WA) Editorial: Trump’s Raid of Military Projects for Border Wall Hits Way Too Close to Home. “Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, home to the Navy’s most elite submarines, is the site of the one Washington state project that Congress funded and Trump defunded. The $88.9 million pier extension at Bangor is needed to secure Coast Guard vessels that escort the Navy’s eight Trident ballistic missile submarines as they move between the base and surface dive points in the Strait of Juan de Fuca… Meanwhile, the American people can let the truth sink in: When their president repeatedly said his wall would be funded by Mexico, what he really meant was that U.S. service members and their families would pay the price.” [Tacoma News Tribune, 9/12/19]

Seattle Times (WA): Trump’s Wall Shortchanges Military Projects — Including In Puget Sound. “President Donald Trump’s absurd machination to seize border funding via a federal “state of emergency” will cost America’s military mightily. His decision to zero out 127 defense projects and claim their $3.6 billion funding for his wall represents more than 30% of the 2019 military construction allocation Congress approved.” [Seattle Times, 9/12/19]

Greensboro News & Record (NC) Editorial: Robbing Peter to Pay for a Wall. “President Donald Trump loves the military. Just ask him. He loves North Carolina, a state that helped elect him in 2016. Just ask him when he’s at a rally here. And he loves N.C. Sen. Thom Tillis, who supports just about everything Trump wants. Ask Trump about that, too. What the president wouldn’t want us to ask him is why, then, he is taking millions of dollars designated for projects on military bases in North Carolina to build his border wall with Mexico, in a move that hurts the military and the state.” [Greensboro News & Record, 9/11/19]

Oneonta Daily Star (NY): Trump Raid On Military Funds Hurts Troops. “Donald Trump does not support our military. It has become clear in recent days that Trump's signature political gimmick — a wall on the nation's border with Mexico — is more important to him than the security of the nation and the welfare of the people upon whom we rely for that security. Pentagon officials notified Congressional leaders last week that $3.6 billion worth of military construction contracts would be canceled and the funds diverted to Trump's monument to his own ego.” [Oneonta Daily Star, 9/11/19]

Charlottesville Daily Progress (VA) Editorial: Funding Shifts Could Hurt State, Nation. “The key concern over these cuts is how severe the effects will be on national security. That is, after all, the mission of the military: to defend and protect the United States. But not to be overlooked is the economic effect on Virginia. Loss of funding for construction projects will mean loss of jobs for civilian contractors who otherwise would assist in those projects. That’s not an insignificant consideration. [Charlottesville Daily Progress, 9/10/19]

Everett Daily Herald (WA) Editorial: Shuffling Money to Wall Threatens Future Abuses. “Absent a ruling from the courts on the tactic’s constitutionality — and lawsuits have been filed — it remains a seizure of the powers intended for Congress that could be used again by Trump and perhaps by a future presidential administration. Those who see no problem with the president going around Congress to fund his own priorities, might consider their reaction to a Democratic president declaring climate change an emergency and reallocating military construction money or funding for other programs to protect coastal communities from rising seas and severe storms.” [Everett Herald, 9/10/19]

Mankato Free Press (MN) Editorial: McConnell Needs to Lead as Session Begins. “Congress has to fund the government or risk a federal shutdown. Those talks have been derailed by Trump’s shifting of $3.6 billion from military projects for the border wall… McConnell and his GOP caucus have abandoned their duty to provide legislative leadership, instead leaving any decisions on an agenda with Trump. While presidents have always and understandably held great sway in setting legislative goals for their party, Congressional leaders have still forwarded bills they believe are necessary and wanted by the people who elected them. Hopefully the Senate will find the strength to deliver meaningful bills before recessing.” [Mankato Free Press, 9/10/19]

Denver Post (CO) Editorial: Now We Know Gardner Failed to Protect Colorado From Cuts in Addition to Failing the U.S. Constitution. “Sen. Cory Gardner should be livid with the president, but Colorado’s Republican senator is still squarely in Donald Trump’s corner. It’s astounding.” [Denver Post, 9/8/19]

The Virginian-Pilot (VA) Editorial: Burden of Trump’s Border Promise Falls Squarely on Military. “In all, 23 states, three territories and 19 countries will see defense spending reduced so that money can be sent to the border. The projects selected include those affecting readiness, such as firearms ranges, hangers, maintenance operations and training facilities, as well as many that will diminish the quality of life on bases for service members and their families, such as schools and day care facilities. And for what?” [The Virginian Pilot, 9/8/19]

San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Editorial: Diversion of Military Funds or Border Wall No Way to Defend US. “Half of the diversions will come from overseas projects, particularly in Europe, which could further strain tensions with allies already chafing at Trump's dismissive approach to NATO. The targeted projects include elementary schools for children of the troops, aircraft simulators, weapon maintenance facilities, dining centers, a small-arms firing range in Tulsa, Okla., hangars, port repairs and a cyberoperations center in Virginia. The scheme even takes money from projects drawn up for Puerto Rico after 2017's Hurricane Maria.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/19]

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) Editorial: Raid of Military Funds for Trump’s Border Wall is a $3.6 Billion Campaign Commercial. “President Donald Trump is planning to raid about $3.6 billion from more than 120 military construction projects — work that is presumably needed — to begin building his southern border wall. Not only is the administration once again sidestepping the will of Congress and endangering the principle of separation of powers, it’s also diverting public funds the military deems necessary for its ongoing operations and using them to pay for Trump to fulfill a misguided campaign promise to his base.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9/7/19]

Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Editorial: We’ll Pay for Trump’s Wall. “The folly of President Donald Trump’s $3.6 billion border wall continues to grow, with the president now aiming to pay for it off the backs of various states’ military projects — including $32 million allocated for Hawaii. Billions of dollars in Congress-approved projects are being deferred — but it’s hoped that a court order can prevent this diversion of military funds. Hawaii’s two snagged projects: a new $26.5 million perimeter gate for Kaneohe’s Marine Corps Base for enhanced security; and $5.5 million for a new training facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.” [Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 9/7/19]

Boston Globe (MA) Editorial: How a Lawless President Funds His Wall. “It’s not just that the Trump border wall proposed for the Mexican border is an offense to American values. It’s not just that it’s a waste of time and money and effort. What it has now become is a giant siphon of $3.6 billion in Defense Department construction funds that were destined for far more worthwhile projects that were truly aimed at keeping this nation safer, not simply keeping an ill-advised campaign promise.” [Boston Globe, 9/6/19]

Anniston Star (AL) Editorial: Trump’s Border Wall Plan Reaches All the Way to Anniston. “A Defense Department report released last week shows that 127 Pentagon projects will be postponed and redirected to wall funding. Among the delayed projects is construction of a $5.2 million maintenance facility at Anniston Army Depot, according to an article by The Star’s Tim Lockette.” [Anniston Star, 9/6/19]

The Salt Lake Tribune (UT) Editorial: President’s Wall Only Divides Republicans. “But a border wall is not only not necessary, it is a particularly bad idea that the president will just not let go of. It won’t stop illegal immigration, end the flow of migrants and legitimate asylum candidates from war-torn and impoverished nations or have any impact on people who fly, drive or walk here legally and just overstay their visas.” [Salt Lake Tribune, 9/6/19]

Dothan Eagle (AL): Border Wall Could Derail Fort Rucker Training Facility Funds. “Border wall controversy aside, the prospect of having almost $80 million meant to fortify our military operations at Alabama installations redirected is unsettling.” [Dothan Eagle, 9/5/19]

The Republican (MA) Editorial: Raiding Military Wall Sets a Terrible Precedent. “On Wednesday, the day after the Pentagon began to inform members of Congress about previously approved military projects that would be put on hold, perhaps indefinitely, the White House released a list of the efforts that would see funding diverted to the wall. You know, the one that Trump had long said Mexico would pay to construct. As it turns out, proposed military projects in 23 states, three U.S. territories and in 20 countries will actually be raided to build that wall.” [The Republican, 9/5/19]