As expected, President Trump today declared a national emergency over border security, the first step in bypassing Congress to build a wall along the border with Mexico using money taken from other accounts.
Predictably, this is not being well-received in Congress. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has sent the Acting Secretary of Defense a letter raising concerns over the President’s plans to take $3.5 billion from the Department of Defense’s military construction budget to build his border wall.
In the letter, Kaine requested a list of projects that will lose funding as a result of the President’s emergency declaration and highlighted the maintenance backlog that has left military members and their families living in poor and failing conditions.
“I am concerned that a project that the President stated would be paid for by Mexico will now be borne by military servicemembers and their families, as they will be forced to remain in ‘poor’ or ‘failing’ conditions,” Kaine wrote. “The safety and well-being of our forces and their families is the supreme responsibility of every commander in the military; it should be no different for the Commander-in-Chief.”
The full text of the letter is available here.