Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness, released the following statement after being notified by the Pentagon that the Trump Administration will divert $3.6 billion from the military construction (MILCON) budget to pay for the President’s border wall.

“It is grossly irresponsible of President Trump to redirect money that’s necessary to support and strengthen military installations around the world to pay for his vanity wall,” Garamendi said. “Military installations will have crucial repairs and upgrades delayed as a result of this irresponsible action by the President. Additionally, this comes at a time when more than $11 billion is needed to repair bases that have been ravaged by recent natural disasters.

The total cost of rebuilding and repairing just 4 bases; Tyndall, Lejeune, Offutt and China Lake is estimated to be over $11 billion. Trump and his new pawn, Secretary of Defense Esper, must explain to the American people why the President’s vanity wall is more important to our national security than well-maintained installations that support our military’s readiness.”

“Already, to fund his ill-advised wall the President has ripped $2.9 billion from the military and $155 million from FEMA just days before Hurricane Dorian hits our shores,” Garamendi continued. “Funding the wall in this manner will deplete vital resources that maintain our military’s readiness to respond to any threats at home and abroad. We must ensure that our military installations and service members have the support and facilities they need to keep our nation and our world safe.”

“The Armed Services Committee has raised constitutional objections to the President’s usurpation of Congressional appropriation authority and responsibility. We will do everything in our power to push back against this irresponsible and irrational decision by the President,” Garamendi concluded.

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