WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after the Washington Post reported that President Trump is planning to divert $7.2 billion from national defense because he failed to get Mexico to pay for his wasteful and ineffective border wall, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:
“It’s outrageous that President Trump continues to raid military accounts to pay for his partisan pet projects. He is taking limited resources from our troops and military families and diverting them to pay for a wasteful and ineffective project that is more politically motivated than necessary for national security.
“If Congress allows President Trump to continue down this path, it will set a precedent that emboldens future presidents to disregard Congress and redirect military spending to questionable causes.
“What President Trump is doing here is shortchanging our troops and taking resources from real, effective operational priorities and diverting them to build a wasteful political prop.
“He already took $3.6 billion from military projects the Pentagon says it needed. So this additional round of cuts includes another $3.7 billion from military construction projects the Pentagon claimed were needed priorities to execute the National Defense Strategy and improve readiness.
“I have requested that the Pentagon provide more information and an urgent response.
“A bipartisan majority of Congress already went on record and voted to rebuff this ill-conceived emergency declaration. I hope once members of Congress and the American people see where President Trump is planning to siphon this additional money from -- and the negative impact it will have on our troops, states, and communities -- there will be bipartisan action to fix this problem and halt the president’s raid on national defense accounts.”