Wisconsin losing funding to border wall ‘folly’

By: - September 5, 2019 6:54 am
Wall on US/Mexico border

The Wall in Neco. (Photo by Jonathan Mcintosh, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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.

Congressman Mark Pocan
Rep. Mark Pocan

“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.”

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Ruth Conniff
Ruth Conniff

Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She formerly served as Editor-in-chief of The Progressive Magazine where she worked for many years from both Madison and Washington, DC. Shortly after Donald Trump took office she moved with her family to Oaxaca, Mexico, and covered U.S./Mexico relations, the migrant caravan, and Mexico’s efforts to grapple with Trump. Conniff is the author of "Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers" which won the 2022 Studs and Ida Terkel award from The New Press. She is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television outlets. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters.