WASHINGTON, DC - Today, after the Trump Administration announced plans to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build a border wall along the Southwest border, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“President Trump’s immigration efforts have failed since day one.  Today, he made it clear he is willing to take funds from our troops and disaster victims and divert them to try to protect his political right flank.  And ultimately, that could put Americans at risk.  

“This isn’t just an attempt to shift funding, it’s a bid to shift power away from Congress to the president.  Clearly, this administration is trying to circumvent Congressional authority and this ill-advised attempt should be legally challenged and struck down by the courts.  If it stands, future presidents will make similar end-runs to try and tap defense dollars for anything a president wants to label a ‘national emergency.’

“With this move, President Trump is short-changing our troops and taxpayers and forcing them to bear the burden of his broken, preposterous campaign promise.

“Defense spending is supposed to be for national defense.  There is no credible reason to divert these funds and doing so in this manner could disrupt national security efforts. 

“There should be broad, bipartisan opposition to misusing defense dollars in this manner in both Congress and the courts.”