Truax field in Madison, Wisconsin will lose $8 million in funding for a small-arms range, as one of 127 military construction projects that will see funding diverted to pay for a $3.6 billion border wall between the United States and Mexico. The Defense Department released a list of projects that will lose funding on Wednesday. The diversion of funds from projects in 23 states, three U.S. territories and 20 countries does not need Congressional approval, the Washington Post reports, because of President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the US/Mexico border.
Republicans in the Senate have proposed that the projects be “backfilled” in their version of the Defense Department budget, but that provision is not in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, National Public Radio reports.
“The President is stealing from the Department of Defense, and claiming it will be ‘backfilled,’ Cong. Mark Pocan told reporters on Wednesday. “I’m part of Appropriations and I can tell you that’s not true. It does not automatically get backfilled.”
Pocan described the reallocation of funds from projects that had already been promised funding as “money stolen in order to fund the folly of a wall.”
Congress has refused to appropriate funds for President Trump’s proposed border wall.
“So now he’s found a new way to try to steal it out of these various pots of money,” said Pocan. “Some was FEMA as we hit hurricane season, and some was the Department of Defense. . . that’s something you’re going to hear a lot of pushback on.”