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GOP Senators Again Allow White House to Raid Billions from Military Projects, National Guard

Vulnerable GOP Senators Have Repeatedly Upheld Cash Grabs From Home-State Military Construction Projects and Counternarcotics Operations, Now Silent As White House Prepares to Raid Funds Intended to Build Fighter Jets, Ships, National Guard Equipment

New Threat Brings the GOP’s Military Cash Grab to Nearly $10 Billion Since Last Year

The Trump administration announced yesterday that it will be raiding nearly $4 billion more in defense funding, this time from funds “intended to build fighter jets, ships, vehicles and National Guard equipment.” After voting repeatedly to uphold the sham emergency declaration that allowed the White House to raid billions from military construction and counterdrug efforts, and then refusing to stand up to the threat of another $7.2 billion cash grab in January, it’s no surprise that those vulnerable Republican Senators have been largely silent on this latest attempt to divert billions of dollars from critical military projects.

“Vulnerable Republicans have repeatedly shown they have no problem allowing the White House to steal billions of dollars from crucial national security projects, and Trump’s new plan to steal even more funds intended for combat equipment further undermines our servicemembers and our military preparedness for a political stunt,” said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. “Senate Republicans owe it to their constituents to finally do what’s right and stand up to this latest cash grab, but their continued indifference shows they’re once again putting partisan loyalty ahead of the oath they took to serve our country.”

Republican Senators on the ballot in 2020 including Thom Tillis, Cory Gardner, Martha McSally, Joni Ernst, David Perdue, John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell have all previously voted to uphold the president’s abuse of the national emergency declaration to divert military project funding, including millions from projects in many of their own states.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

POLITICO: Pentagon to shift $3.8B for fighter planes, ships toward border wall

The shift in funding marks a new phase for the administration, which until now had used money set for military construction and counterdrug operations and not combat equipment.

By Connor O’Brien and Caitlin Emma

February 13, 2020

Key Points:

  • The Trump administration plans to sap money intended to build fighter jets, ships, vehicles and National Guard equipment in order to fund barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Pentagon told Congress on Thursday, a move that has agitated Democrats and even drawn condemnation from a top House Republican.
  • The surprise reprogramming of another $3.8 billion, transmitted to Congress and provided to POLITICO, means the Pentagon will have forked over nearly $10 billion since last year to help pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall.
  • But this shift in funding marks a new phase for the administration, which until now had used money set for military construction and counterdrug operations, not combat equipment.
  • The money will be drawn from a host of procurement accounts, many of which are popular on Capitol Hill. The move includes a cut of two Marine Corps F-35B fighter jets at a cost of $223 million; $100 million from the Army National Guard’s Humvee modernization program; $650 million cut from the Navy’s amphibious assault ship replacement; and $261 million from the Expeditionary Fast Transport ship. The reprogramming also trimmed two Air Force C-130J transport aircraft for a cut of $196 million and $180 million from the service’s light attack aircraft program.
  • The Pentagon also sapped an extra $1.3 billion from National Guard and Reserve equipment accounts, for which Congress has typically sought to allocate increased funding.
  • Congress has so far failed to attach any prohibitive language since Trump declared a national emergency last February, successfully diverting $6.7 billion from military construction and other accounts for a southern barrier.
  • The Washington Post reported last month that Trump plans to shift an extra $7.2 billion this year from the military toward border wall construction. Of that, $3.7 billion would come from military construction projects and $3.5 billion would be taken via the counterdrug account.

Read the full story here.

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