Secretary of Defense Mark Esper notified members of Congress Sept. 3, of his decision to reallocate $3.6 billion in defense spending which will now go toward funding President Donald Trump’s border wall.
“I determined that 11 military construction projects along the international border with Mexico, with an estimated total cost of $3.6 billion, are necessary to support the use of the armed forces in connection with the national emergency,” wrote Esper in his letter to Congress.
Officials from the Department of Defense say that 127 military construction plans are being put on hold in order to free up the funding needed to build 175 miles of southern border wall.
While the letter makes no mention of a “wall” or “border,” it is clear that our president is attempting to make good on his promise to clean up the border when he declared it a national emergency.
Esper’s decision was immediately slammed by members of congress, with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D–New York) calling the decision “a slap in the face to the members of the Armed Forces.” Schumer was not alone in condemning the decision as Sen. Jack Reed (D–Rhode Island), also voiced his concerns.
In reallocating the funding, Trump has shown that he cares little for our troops and would rather prioritize funding his own personal project, which in and of itself is a terrible way to spend military funding.
Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman says that half of the reallocated money will come from deferred projects overseas, which will be used first, with the other half coming from domestic projects.
Defense officials say that members of Congress whose states and/or districts will be impacted are currently being informed.
Once that is completed, then the public will be informed of the specifics.
While it is still unclear which construction projects will be affected, it is clear that this is the wrong decision.