The Pentagon is now responsible for diverting defense budget funds to build a southern border wall, if President Trump’s national emergency declaration issued Friday stands.
Here’s what you may have missed over the holiday weekend:
- As of Saturday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had not yet determined if the wall is “militarily necessary” and from which projects he might pull funds. “We understand there are some priorities that won’t be considered,” Shanahan said, according to Military Times. “Military housing … what’s been interesting … I’ve received a number of letters, I’ve had lots of feedback. ‘Do not jeopardize the projects that are underway.’”
- The House Appropriations Committee identified almost 400 potentially impacted military construction projects – in almost every state, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam, along with others overseas. Military.com outlined some of them.
- Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tweeted, “-Removing lead from military housing -Making overseas bases safer -Upgrading hospitals that treat wounded troops. These are the types of projects military construction funding is supposed to pay for when it isn’t stolen to build a wall that won’t make us safer.”
- Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said projects like one at Fort Campbell may have to wait. “I would say it’s better for the middle school kids in Kentucky to have a secure border,” he said Sunday on Face the Nation. “We’ll get them the school they need. But right now, we’ve got a national emergency on our hands.”
- Congress is out this week but could start a process when it returns to state its opposition to the emergency declaration. If it passed both chambers, it would be unlikely to do so with a veto-proof margin.
- Sixteen states are suing, according to NBC News. “We have vital military dollars going to strategic projects that are of vital national security,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas told CNN Monday night, explaining his decision to join the suit. Other organizations have said they will sue, too, setting up a possible Supreme Court showdown.
- Asked at his Rose Garden press conference Friday about whether readiness could be threatened, the President said “some of the generals” think a border wall is a high priority. “If we had a wall, we wouldn’t need the military.”
Photo by NBC News