Democratic appropriators demand list of military projects that would be defunded for wall

Democratic appropriators demand list of military projects that would be defunded for wall
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Top Senate Democrats are demanding a list of military projects that would lose funding under President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE's plan to divert resources to pay for a long-promised border wall.

"We have strong concerns about hitting the pause button on such readiness initiatives that Congress already approved when it exercised its constitutional appropriations prerogative,” the lawmakers, led by Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump GOP senators work to get Trump on board with new disaster aid package Chances for disaster aid deal slip amid immigration fight MORE (D-Vt.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThreat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Senate Democrats request watchdog, Red Cross probe DHS detention facilities Iraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran MORE (D-Ill.) and Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzOvernight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Democratic senators want NBC primary debate to focus on climate change Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds MORE (D-Hawaii), wrote in a letter to acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanOvernight Defense: Details on Senate's 0B defense bill | Bill rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps | Backfills money for border wall | Defense chief says more troops could head to Mideast Trump defense chief: US may send more troops to Middle East amid Iran tensions Dem senator plans amendment to restrict military action against Iran MORE.

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“We request that you provide to us the list of the projects deemed less important than building a wall along the southern border, along with the military criteria used to justify those decisions.”

The letter was signed by every Democratic member of the military construction and the Defense Appropriations subcommittees.

Trump declared the national emergency last month to allocate roughly $8 billion for barriers along the southern border. Of those funds, more than $6 billion would come from the Department of Defense. He moved to divert the funds after a congressional spending bill fell short of his demands for his signature campaign promise.

“By using such authority, [the Department of Defense] will have to cancel or delay approximately twenty percent of the military construction projects previously reported to Congress as top priorities for the military. We request that you provide to us the list of the projects deemed less important than building a wall along the southern border, along with the military criteria used to justify those decisions,” the appropriators wrote.

“We believe that cancelling or delaying military construction and family housing projects would have damaging short- and long-term impacts. The decision to do so imposes known and unknown risks on the military services’ ability to train the force, maintain readiness, and support military missions.”

Democrats were swift to condemn Trump’s emergency declaration, echoing criticism that the diverted funds would harm military readiness and instead pay for what they slammed as a fabricated crisis.