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 TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' 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 LeahyAppropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions Graham moves controversial asylum bill through panel; Democrats charge he's broken the rules MORE (D-Vt.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions To combat domestic terrorism, Congress must equip law enforcement to fight rise in white supremacist attacks MORE (D-Ill.) and Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel Schatz'Medicare for All' complicates Democrats' pitch to retake Senate Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid Booker, Durbin and Leahy introduce bill to ban death penalty MORE (D-Hawaii), wrote in a letter to acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanWhy Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary Five questions for Trump's new defense secretary on first major tour Trump says media is part of vetting his nominees: 'We save a lot of money that way' 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.