On the campaign trail, Trump promised that his glorious border wall was going to be paid for by Mexico.
But the reality is that American tax dollars are paying for the wall, tax dollars that should be going to fund other projects.
Just this week, the Department of Defense announced that $3.6 billion will be shifted from military construction to Trump’s vanity border wall project. This includes $62.6 million stripped from Ft. Campbell Middle School in Kentucky the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — called Moscow Mitch for his refusal to allowed votes allow votes on bills to fund efforts to stop Russia’s ongoing effort to interfere with our elections.
Money will now be allocated towards the wall that was supposed to fund 127 different projects. Many of them would have improved life for military families. This move has angered many lawmakers including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who called it a “slap in the face”:
West Point started as an engineering school.
What funding is @realDonaldTrump taking from West Point for the expensive, ineffective wall he promised Mexico would pay for?
The new engineering center.
It's a slap in the face to the Army.https://t.co/Lj5QIq2FnH
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 5, 2019
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), thinks it will put “Americans at risk,” and Senator Time Kaine (D-VA) said that Trump was “shirking” his duty as Commander in Chief to “advance his own political agenda.” Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) thinks that Trump moving these funds around is an overreach of executive powers and “exceeds his discretion.”
Moscow Mitch says he “is committed to protecting funding for the Ft. Campbell Middle School project,” according to a McConnell spokesman interviewed by The Hill.
But the most powerful Republican in Congress has no negative words to say about the president’s move — even though he could easily stop it by passing legislation — and even though it will force the children of our soldiers to stay in overcrowded classrooms!
The New York Times reports the grim results of Trump’s move:
“… 552 students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades will continue to cram themselves in, 30 to a classroom in some cases, at the base’s aging Mahaffey Middle School. Teachers at Mahaffey will continue to use mobile carts to store their books, lesson plans and homework assignments because there is not enough classroom space. Students stuffed into makeshift classrooms-within-classrooms will continue to strain to figure out which lesson to listen to and which one to filter out.”
Moscow Mitch is so committed to appeasing Trump that his spokesman actually tried to blame the Democrats for Trump’s move: “We would not be in this situation if Democrats were serious about protecting our homeland and worked with us to provide the funding needed to secure our borders during our appropriations process.”
The Republicans could not or would not fund Trump’s pointless border wall when they had the majority — so it’s absurd to assert that it’s the Democrats’ fault the wall isn’t funded.
So, what exactly are the projects that will get put on hold in order to pour money into the useless border wall? Many of the items on the list are overseas in US territories, but there are plenty stateside as well, in both Democratic and Republican districts. Besides Moscow Mitch’s project, Trump’s border wall will be robbing:
- $32M from Butner Elementary School on Fort Bragg in North Carolina
- $13M from a Camp Santiago dining center in Puerto Rico
- $3M from a power substation on the Virgin Islands
- $8M from a flight simulator facility in California
- $17M from a fire/crash rescue station on Tyndall AFB in Florida
- $13M from a child development center on Joint Base Andrews in Maryland
- $95M from an engineering center at the U.S. Military Academy in New York
- $15M from an ambulatory care center at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina
- $18M from a hazardous materials warehouse in Virginia
- $56M for a water well field at the Joint Region Marianas in Guam
Many of these projects, like the schools, would have directly benefited military families and others were meant to keep military personnel safer and better trained. Apparently, the President feels that securing his legacy as a wall builder is more important than training new pilots in California or ensuring troops get to eat in Puerto Rico.