Pentagon discloses military projects it could tap for Trump’s wall


The Pentagon has sent Congress a list of projects that could be impacted by President Donald Trump's decision to declare a national emergency and repurpose military construction funds to pay for his sought-after border wall with Mexico.

The projects range across the country and around the world, from an air traffic control tower in Alabama to fuel tanks in Australia, according to the 21-page document.

The Department of Defense may divert up to $148 million from Arizona military bases to pay for a wall on the southern border, Pentagon officials confirmed to Congress Monday afternoon.

As the vote neared, Trump repeatedly made clear that it was about party fealty and border security and suggested that voting against him could be perilous. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Pentagon also said Congress can make sure none of the projects suffer by passing an increase in military construction money for 2020, allowing the government to go back and replenish the accounts Mr. Trump wants to drain for his border wall. That may help shore up his political base, but it could come at the expense of our military bases and the men and women of our armed forces who rely on them.

Democrats say the list shows Trump is willing to cut needed defense spending and make the US less secure just to finance his wall.

But critics noted that McSally joined most other Republicans in the House and Senate by refusing to vote against Trump's declaration of an emergency after Congress denied him the funding he wanted for a border wall.

On February 15, a defiant Trump declared a national emergency to bypass Congress and fulfill his long-pending demand of building the wall along the border with Mexico. But contracts on five of those projects are set to be awarded this year, leaving a $30 million garage project at Fort Huachuca as the likeliest target in the state for wall funding.

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Pentagon officials have been adamant that no projects will be canceled, only delayed.

The list released Monday still does not identify which or how many projects will be raided for the president's wall, which could take years to build.

In New Mexico, projects that could be cut include $85 million to house MQ-9 Reaper drones at Holloman Air Force Base, $40 million for a new Information Systems Facility at White Sands Missile Range, $42 million for a new cargo pad area and $16 million for projects at Kirtland Air Force Base to upgrade anti-terrorism protections at an entrance gate and build a new fire station.

The Navy, including the Marine Corps, has the most expensive list of projects at $2.3 billion.

Congress can undo a state of emergency declared by the president with a veto-proof majority vote. He has vetoed legislation aimed at annulling his border emergency, and the House plans to vote on overriding the veto next week.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire Democrat, was upset to see two projects at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on the list. He blasted Shanahan for failing to act in good faith with the Senate.

Sen. Pat Toomey voted last week against President Trump's emergency border declaration, but he suggested Sunday that doesn't necessarily mean Mr. Trump's attempt to shift money is illegal.