New Jersey Dems tell Pentagon not to use military funds for border wall

New Jersey Dems tell Pentagon not to use military funds for border wall


By:  Tal Axelrod
The Hill

Democrats in New Jersey’s congressional delegation sent a letter to the Pentagon Wednesday demanding that no funds allocated for their state’s military installations be used to fund President Trump’s border wall.

“[W]e adamantly oppose any diversion of funds obligated to New Jersey’s military installations, including Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL), Picatanny Arsenal and the 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City International Airport, to pay for such a barrier,” the letter said.

The letter was signed by Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and Reps. Donald Norcross, Andy Kim, Mikie Sherrill, Bill Pascrell, Albio Sires, Frank Pallone Jr., Bonnie Watson Coleman, Josh Gottheimer, Jefferson Van Drew, Donald Payne Jr. and Tom Malinowski.

“As you are aware, the United States Constitution grants Congress, through Article I, the power to appropriate funds, not the Executive Branch. Congress used its Article I power to appropriate funds to specific, critical military construction projects in New Jersey to support the Armed Forces, which this national emergency declaration could either delay or terminate.”

The New Jersey Democrats touted several military projects in the Garden State as essential and expressed concerns that it would be “irresponsible” to for their “critical” funding to be curtailed, and that such a move could hurt the military’s readiness.

Trump declared the national emergency last month after a congressional spending bill failed to meet his demand for $5.7 billion for the border wall. His declaration allocated roughly $8 billion for barriers along the southern border, including $6 billion from the Pentagon.

Democrats rebuked the decision as fabricating an emergency for political gain and expressed concerns it would put military readiness at risk.

Senate appropriators Tuesday demanded a list of military projects Tuesday that are under risk of losing funding as money is diverted to the border wall.

The Senate is set to pass a resolution this week to block the emergency declaration. Though it is not expected to gain the needed support to overturn a presidential veto, five Republican senators have already declared they intend to defect and vote with all 47 Democrats, pushing the legislation above the 51-vote threshold needed for it to pass.