In February, when President Trump made his national emergency declaration about the southern border crisis, he was hoping to receive $3.6 billion from the Pentagon to use to help build the wall at the southern border.
According to the Washington Examiner, when the Pentagon provided a list of possible projects, it showed that $12.8 billion worth of construction projects for the military, which is more than three times the amount that Trump is asking for, could be slowed or completely stopped to divert the money to the construction of the wall. Democratic Sen. Jack Reed from Rhode Island, who shared a spreadsheet that lists the projects by state or country and brand of service, is responsible for making the list public.
Even though $6.8 million worth of the projects came from the 2019 fiscal year budget, approximately half of the money that Trump is looking for, $1.8 billion to be exact, comes from the 2018 fiscal year. Every single one of the projects comes from a list of contracts that haven’t been awarded yet. The Pentagon has stated that the list wouldn’t include projects for the barracks, dormitories, or military housing.
The Trump-proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins in October, asks for the Pentagon to be repaid $3.6 billion for the money that used to build the wall. According to The Examiner, roughly $700 million worth of projects in California are on the list.
Hawaii has more than $400 million worth of projects on the list. New York, North Carolina, Maine, and Guam all topped out on the list with projects worth more than $200 million. All of those projects could be stopped to give money to the wall construction, according to the Pentagon. It’s important to add that just because a project is included on the list it doesn’t mean that the project has come to an end.
According to Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, if the acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan was to “determine that construction along the southwest border is necessary to aid the mission of military personnel supporting the Department of Homeland Security, some projects within this pool may be used to fund up to $3.6B in barrier construction.”
Sen. Jack Reed doesn’t agree with President Trump’s emergency declaration. Congress attempted to block the declaration from moving forward, but as expected, Trump immediately vetoed the resolution. The resolution was written by Democrats, but the Senate passed it with the support of 12 Republicans.
On Monday, Reed said: “What President Trump is doing is a slap in the face to our military that makes our border and the country less secure. He is planning to take funds from real, effective operational priorities and needed projects and divert them to his vanity wall.”
President Trump, on the other hand, has said that the resolution, and those that support it, have let the country down. As Trump vetoed the resolution on Friday, he said: “The Democrat-sponsored resolution would terminate vital border security operations by revoking the national emergency issued last month. It is definitely a national emergency. Rarely have we had such a national emergency.”
Trump continues to insist that the need for the wall is constantly rising. “Last month, more than 76,000 illegal migrants arrived at our border. We’re on track for a million illegal aliens to rush our borders. People hate the word ‘invasion,’ but that’s what it is. It’s an invasion of drugs and criminals and people. We have no idea who they are, but we capture them because border security is so good,” said President Trump. “But they’re put in a very bad position, and we’re bursting at the seams. Literally, bursting at the seams.”