The Pentagon has delivered a list of military projects that could be delayed in order to fund the construction of the border wall. With Congress refusing to provide funding, President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency and has pledged to divert funding to construct his wall.
Some of the funding will almost certainly come out of the Pentagon’s budget. The military has roughly $12.9 billion in already funded projects that have not yet been started. Trump is proposing that $3.6 billion of these funds be reallocated to support his barrier project.
The Pentagon has said that military housing will not be touched. However, many other projects that affect the quality of life for those in the military could be affected. Schools, dining halls, medical facilities, and fire stations are all on the chopping block. A wastewater treatment plant at West Point and a drone hanger in South Korea might also be defunded.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Joe Buccino has said that if Congress enacts President Trump’s budget on time, all of the military construction projects will proceed as scheduled. Trump’s budget would backfill depleted Pentagon accounts. He has also requested $8.6 billion for his border wall.
The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jack Reed, has lambasted Trump’s efforts, arguing: “What President Trump is doing is a slap in the face to our military that makes our border and the country less secure. He is planning to take funds from real, effective operational priorities and needed projects and divert them to his vanity wall.”
So far, Democrats and some Republicans have balked at the proposed budget, which includes steep cuts to social programs such as Department of Education enhancements. Critics also argue that the budget will greatly expand the United States’ public debt.