Senate Takes Stand On Trump’s Abuse Of Military Funds

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, according to The Washington Post:

‘If Republicans choose to stand with President Trump, they’ll be saying they fully support allowing the president to take money from our military to fund a border wall.’

In Arizona, Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) will be in a tough 2020 reelection and will vote with the Republicans. Her states loses $30 million for:

‘…upgraded vehicle maintenance buildings that date back to the 1930s. The existing structures don’t comply with “life safety” standards, Army officials wrote in 2017, leaving U.S. servicemembers at risk.’

SOURCE: ‘The Washington Post.’

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) will also have a rigorous fight.:

‘…an $8 million project to create a Space Control Facility at Peterson Air Force Base. How would I square voting differently?’

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) also faces reelection in 2020. His state would lose $47 million at Camp Lejeune for a health care building serving active-duty Marines. It has been on the replacement list since 2017. According to Defense officials, the new facility would replace the existing one which:

‘…lacks basic requirements such as sinks, proper ventilation and exam rooms with doors.’

Senator John Cornyn R-TX) stated that he would uphold the president’s misuse of the emergency declaration. Should the president continued unimpaired, that would yank $38.5 million from important San Antonio and El Paso projects. The senator told reporters:

‘How would I square voting differently? There won’t be any net loss in my opinion.’

At first, the senator was against the national emergency declaration before he was for it, after bending to Republican leadership pressure. He had been working on a bill that has already cleared the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

When senators first voted on the issue in March, the Pentagon had not released a list of the $3.6 billion in military construction projects that were being canceled to pay for Trump’s border barrier.

But earlier this month that list was released, and senators now know the specific projects in their states that are being scrapped to make way for Trump’s wall. That creates new pressure for GOP senators, especially those up for reelection in 2020, to weigh their allegiance to Trump and his border wall against their support for much-needed projects at military bases and installations back home.

So far, such arguments appear to have done little to sway GOP senators who voted for Trump’s emergency declaration the first time around.

Senator John Cornyn R-TX) stated that he would uphold the president’s misuse of the emergency declaration. Should the president continued unimpaired, that would yank $38.5 million from important San Antonio and El Paso projects. The senator told reporters:

‘How would I square voting differently? There won’t be any net loss in my opinion.’

But Cornyn declared such concerns “way too parochial” and expressed confidence that the money for the Texas projects would ultimately be restored, even though Democrats have insisted they will not go along with that plan.

Under an obscure law, the White House has said that declaring a national emergency at the border allows the president to take money from military construction projects already approved by Congress and spend it on his wall instead. Democrats — and some Republicans — have tried to block him, without luck.

Trump issued the emergency declaration in February after a 35-day partial government shutdown that occurred because Congress refused to give him all the money he wanted for his wall.

The law allows Democrats to force repeated votes aimed at overturning the national emergency through disapproval resolutions that can pass with a simple majority vote. In March, 59 senators including 12 Republicans voted to overturn the national emergency, while 41 senators voted to uphold it. The resolution was ultimately vetoed by Trump, and Congress failed to override his veto.

The resolution up for a vote this week, which also must pass the House, similarly appears unlikely to survive a presidential veto.

The list of military construction projects being canceled, which includes 41 projects in 23 states, ranges from upgrading a middle school in Ft. Campbell, Ky., to building a shooting range at a base in Jackson, Miss.

Some of the projects are in the home states of the GOP senators who are considered most vulnerable in their reelection fights, and Democratic campaign committees and challengers have already been making plans to use the issue against them.

Featured image screenshot via YouTube.

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