WASHINGTON, DC -- In the wake of a federal appeals court ruling that the Trump Administration wrongly sidestepped Congress in ordering the U.S. Department of Defense to divert $2.5 billion in military funding to a U.S.-Mexico border wall - in a move that illegally violated the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause - U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, issued the following statement:

“The Trump Administration’s scheme to illegally fund this ineffective border wall was a clear overreach by the Executive Branch. 

“The court got it right, but the damage has already been done. 

“President Trump wrongly diverted money, resources, and personnel that was meant to fund national defense.  These federal dollars could have been directed to help combat actual threats and emergencies, such as COVID-19.  Instead, President Trump diverted billions of taxpayer dollars to an unauthorized, partisan pet project.  Congress needs to make it clear that what this Administration did was wrong and illegal to ensure that future Administrations don’t engage in a similar pattern of wrongdoing.

“The Government Accountability Office is already investigating the Trump Administration’s no-bid border wall contract awards and it needs to make its findings public in a timely manner so the American people can better understand who profited from this illicit endeavor and where these illegally transferred funds went.”