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Congressmen are furious after learning how the military will pay for Trump's wall

2019-09-05T02:31:24.792Z

“The well-being of the American troops is the nucleus of responsibility of each commander in the Army, however, the commander in chief is avoiding that duty to be able to move forward…



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Washington (CNN) - The Pentagon’s announcement that it will divert $ 3.6 billion in military construction funds to help fund President Donald Trump’s border wall has sparked the bipartisan anger of lawmakers who learned Wednesday that their states were They will be affected by the decision.

In the country, just under 1.8 billion dollars are being diverted from projects in 23 states and three US territories.

In addition, the Pentagon will defer more than $ 1.8 billion in military construction projects abroad to release more than $ 3.6 billion in funds for 11 wall projects on the southern border with Mexico, according to a complete list obtained by CNN on Wednesday. .

In total, 127 national and foreign projects are waiting to help finance the wall that Trump initially promised that Mexico would pay.

READ : The Pentagon transfers US $ 3.6 billion in military funds to build the wall

Among the affected sites are the facilities used to store hazardous wastes, repair Navy ships and perform cyber operations, which had been identified as needing additional repair or construction.

Puerto Rico was one of the most affected of all US states and territories, as it will see more than $ 400 million in funds for planned military construction projects diverted to the wall under the Pentagon plan.

Trump has constantly confronted Puerto Rican officials while in office after Hurricane Maria of 2017.

"Most of the projects in Puerto Rico were the result of Hurricane Maria," a senior US defense official told CNN.

“We have a reconstruction effort that we have underway here and I mentioned that these projects are not scheduled to be awarded for more than a year. These are projects that we have on the list, something we can use now and fill out, I have time to do that. ”

OPINION : When Hurricane Dorian hovered over Puerto Rico, Trump offered insults, not support

Abroad, 771 million dollars will be affected in projects in various parts of Europe. These projects, including improvements to aerodromes and preparation areas in Eastern Europe, are intended to improve the defense of US allies. of the Russian threats.

"All these projects are important to us, but we also have to respond to the emergency we have been asked to respond on the southwest border," a senior US defense official said Wednesday.

"The projects on the list have existing capabilities or temporary solutions to mitigate any delay, all the projects on the list are important and we will work with Congress to support them," said the official, adding that there are no "guarantees" that the Money go back to those items.

Defense officials said Wednesday that there is no guarantee that some of the money will be replaced for domestic or foreign projects. On Tuesday, the Pentagon chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the Department of Defense will not seek congressional funds to replenish reprogrammed funds for overseas projects.

Bipartisan Criticism

The Pentagon notified individual legislators from the states that they will be affected on Wednesday, causing bipartisan criticism.

Utah Republican senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee expressed their concerns in a joint statement after learning that military construction funds for projects at Hill Air Force Base would be rescheduled.

LOOK : He builds the border wall and she gives legal help to immigrants, but they have something in common

Specifically, they were told that $ 26 million was being diverted from the Hill AFB Composite Aircraft Antenna Calibration Center and another $ 28 million from the Utah Consolidated Test and Training Mission Control Center.

"In April, Senator Lee and I expressed our great concerns to the Secretary of Defense regarding the possible diversion of funds for critical military construction projects in Utah," Romney said. "I am disappointed that despite these concerns, two key military construction projects totaling $ 54 million will be delayed as a result of the February 2019 emergency declaration."

Congress has been giving up too many powers to the executive branch for decades and for a while now it is time for Congress to restore the right balance of power between the three branches, ”said Lee. "We should begin that process by passing the ARTICLE ONE Act, which would correct the imbalances caused by the National Emergency Law," Lee added.

Virginia Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner said Wednesday that the Pentagon informed them of four military construction projects in their state that will lose more than $ 77 million in funds due to the Pentagon's decision to divert that money to the construction of the border wall of President Donald Trump.

In Virginia, the following projects will be affected:

  • Cyber ​​operations facilities at the Langley-Eustis joint base will lose $ 10,000,000.
  • Maintenance facilities in Portsmouth will lose $ 26,120,000.
  • A project to replace a hazardous materials warehouse in Norfolk will lose $ 18,500,000.
  • A project to replace a hazardous materials warehouse in Portsmouth will lose $ 22,500,000.

"The president's decision to divert funds meant supporting US national security interests so that he can build only a border wall makes us less secure," Warner said in a statement. "Withdrawing money from our armed forces, including funding to support critical projects here in Virginia, will mean that we are less equipped to face threats here in the country and abroad."

LOOK : Military personnel will paint the border wall

“I am deeply concerned about President Trump's plan to obtain funds from critical national security projects, including millions of dollars of major projects in Virginia, so he can build his border wall. The well-being of the American troops is the nucleus of responsibility of each commander in the Army, however, the commander in chief is avoiding that duty to be able to advance in his own political agenda, ”added Kaine.

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed reporting.

Anti-immigrant wall

Source: cnnespanol

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