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Rep. Courtney Statement on Trump Administration’s Transfer of Billions in Military Spending to Fund Trump Border Wall

September 5, 2019
Press Release

VERNON, CT – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to transfer $3.6 billion from military construction funds to pay for President Trump’s border wall:

“This Administration’s decision to transfer Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense funds that were appropriated on a bipartisan basis away from U.S. military construction projects undermines the operational capability of our armed forces to the detriment of those volunteers who wear our nation’s uniform. These projects aren’t just part of a wish list – funding is highly competitive, and is vetted first at the Pentagon before submittal to Congress, and has to satisfy a basic test of military value. The message from Secretary of Defense Esper that Congress can simply provide “backfill funding” for these projects when there is already another new line of projects in the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget queue behind them is fiscal fantasy, and sets a dangerous and irresponsible precedent.

“There was bipartisan opposition to this course of action back in February, when the President first announced his plans to misuse emergency powers to divert military construction funds to pay for his border wall, and it’s already been made clear by the President’s own admission that this is not a legitimate use of his emergency powers. This matter is still being actively challenged in the court system, and it is extremely unwise for Secretary Esper to gouge his own Department before the constitutional question is resolved.”

In February, Congressman Courtney issued a statement opposing President Trump’s declaration a national emergency and plants to divert critical military construction funding to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. In his remarks, Courtney noted that President Trump stated during his own press announcement on the emergency declaration that, “I [President Trump] didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.” Click here to read Rep. Courtney’s full statement.