Menendez, Booker Introduce Bill to Restore Military Funding after Trump’s Continued Efforts to Raid Funds for Southern Border Wall

Menendez, Booker Introduce Bill to Restore Military Funding after Trump’s Continued Efforts to Raid Funds for Southern Border Wall

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today joined their Senate colleagues in introducing the Restoring Military Priorities Act of 2020 that would reverse and restore the Department of Defense’s (DoD) recent transfer of $3.8 billion to be used to build part of President Trump’s ineffective border wall. The bill also reduces DoD’s transfer authority so that the agency cannot divert additional funding for the wall. Currently, there is no other process at hand to reverse a reprogramming.

“The administration’s decision to divert vital funding from the Department of Defense to pay for a useless border wall—that the President insisted Mexico was going to pay for—is a slap in the face to our servicemembers and impairs our military readiness,” said Sen. Menendez. “Taking funding away from the National Guard and cutting funding for critical weapon systems and platforms is not an effective way to advance our National Defense Strategy.”

“President Trump’s ineffective border wall is a waste of taxpayer dollars, and his vanity project should not come at the expense of our men and women in uniform,” said Sen. Cory Booker. 

The most recent DoD reprogramming targeted $3.8 billion from the National Guard and a variety of programs added by Congress to address shortfalls that were in many cases identified by military leaders. This was the third time in less than one year that the DOD has used this unilateral process to bypass Congress and divert funding to the President’s border wall.

In January, it was reported that President Trump intends to raid $7.2 billion in DoD funds this year to pay for his wall, diverting funding from military families and forcing American taxpayers to pay for his vanity project and failed campaign promise.

In 2019, the DOD transferred $2.5 billion in funding to be used to build part of President Trump’s border wall, and the President later raided an additional $3.6 billion in military construction funds for his wall. 

When President Trump announced his plan in 2019 to divert appropriated military spending to pay for his wall, Sen. Menendez co-led a bipartisan delegation letter with Congressman Donald Norcross (N.J.-01), the state’s highest-ranked member on the House Armed Services Committee, in opposition. New Jersey’s military installation projects were spared from this round of raidsSen. Menendez secured $41 million in for the Munitions Disassembly Complex at Picatinny Arsenal, despite Trump’s efforts last year to divert funding for the wall.

Sen. Menendez also cosponsored the RAIDER Act to prevent President Trump from doing an end-run around Congress to siphon critical military construction and disaster response funds to construct a wall along the southern border.

Along with Sens. Menendez and Booker, the Restoring Military Priorities Act of 2020 is also cosponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Chris Coons (D-Del.).

 

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Press Contact

Chris_Flores@menendez.senate.gov