NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after again securing congressionally approved funding for New Jersey military installation projects that the Trump administration had threatened to divert to pay for a southern border wall:

“While I am pleased that critical national security and readiness missions at New Jersey military installations have been spared the Trump ax, 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, impairs our military readiness and makes us less safe as a nation,” said Sen. Menendez. “The American people do not want their hard-earned tax dollars used to build a giant boondoggle of a wall that does nothing to secure our nation or reform our broken immigration system.

“The men and women at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Picatinny Arsenal, the 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City International Airport, and Naval Weapons Station Earle are engaged in day-to-day operations that our vital to our national security and our military readiness. Congress exercised its power of the purse to approve funding for construction projects to expand those missions. The fact that essential funding has been protected, despite President Trump’s threat to divert it, is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire congressional delegation I am proud to lead,” the senator added.

When President Trump announced his plan in March 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. The senator 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.