Members of Congress Cry Foul As White House Reveals Which Military Projects Are Being Defunded to Pay for Trump's Wall

President Donald Trump heads back to the Oval Office after attending an event establishing the U.S. Space Command, the sixth national armed service, in the Rose Garden at the White House August 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In another effort to fund his campaign promise of a Mexican financed border wall, President Donald Trump's newly appointed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper pulled funds from the Pentagon's construction budget. Federal budget law restricts the movement of appropriated funds within a federal agency and from one agency to another without congressional approval.

However, by declaring a national emergency, President Trump's DoD Secretary can raid military construction projects without asking Congress to approve the budget transfer. $3.6 billion of military construction projects are on the chopping block.

The projects being defunded include repairs to hurricane-damaged military installations in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, repairs to schools for military dependents, upgrades to heating and cooling systems, practice ranges and security upgrades. The projects cover 23 U.S. states, three U.S. territories and 20 countries.

The DoD announcement refers to the projects as deferred, but unless Congress approves adding another $3.6 billion to backfill the Pentagon budget, the projects are effectively canceled, and members of Congress are making their grievances known.

Congress was not alone in their outrage.

Defense Secretary Esper diverted the military funding using 10 USC Section 2808. During a national emergency requiring the armed forces, the Defense Secretary can pull military construction funds for "projects necessary to support those troops." By declaring the national emergency then deploying troops, Trump opened the door for his Defense Secretary to raid the Pentagon budget.

Esper—who was one of three men who served as acting Secretary for 202 days after James Mattis resigned over disagreements with the Trump administration—deemed Trump's border wall was "necessary to support the troops" Trump deployed to the border.

In addition to the $3.6 billion being siphoned from military construction projects, Trump is also taking $2.5 billion from the Pentagon budget citing a drug intervention law—10 USC 284. What military projects those diverted funds will kill was not part of the Pentagon briefing.

Democrats, government ethics watchdogs and some Republicans criticized Trump's manipulation of circumstances to activate laws intended for real emergencies to bypass the constitutional separation of powers and checks and balances.

Under the Constitution, Congress controls appropriated fund allocations. Even conservative critics state Trump's actions open up the possibility for all future Presidents to use emergency declarations and military deployment to fund anything not approved by Congress.

Congress is currently in recess. The Senate and House return on Monday, September 9.

Whether they address the Defense Secretary's diversion of funds remains to be seen.

Don't support Trump's border wall? This shirt is available here.



Listen to the first three episodes of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!', where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.

Be sure to subscribe here and never miss an episode.

Blaze TV

Continuing a steady slide to the right since her tenure as President Donald Trump's United Nations ambassador, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is under heat for recent comments regarding the Confederate flag.

The comments came during an interview with far-Right Blaze TV host Glenn Beck.

Keep reading... Show less
Fox News

Former Vice President and current 2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden erupted at a man during an Iowa town hall who accused him of actively working to get his son Hunter a board position on the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. Biden called the man a "damn liar" before challenging him to pushups.

Republicans seized on the moment as an opportunity to discredit Biden as a candidate, but Fox and Friends cohost Ainsley Earhardt's reaction may be the most deluded yet.

Keep reading... Show less
Bryan Woolston/Getty Images // @parscale/Twitter

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly made clear that, after President Donald Trump solicited Ukrainian leaders to announce investigations that personally benefitted him, the decision to launch impeachment proceedings wasn't a political maneuver, but a constitutional mandate.

The move came after years of Trump's supporters, as well as some critics, insisted that impeachment would be political suicide for the Democrats.

Since shortly after the inquiry's announcement in September, support for impeachment outweighed its oppositon as more revelations surfaced of Trump's dealings with Ukraine, but his 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale attempted to show that Pelosi's move to impeach would lose Democrats their House majority.

Keep reading... Show less

Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that representatives would begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the podium to defend the President and the Republican party as a whole.

It could've gone better.

Keep reading... Show less
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

One day after the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a press conference announcing that the House would begin drafting articles of impeachment, with a possible floor vote as soon as Christmas.

The press conference signaled the beginning of the end of the impeachment inquiry in the House.

Keep reading... Show less
Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee, in its public impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, consulted four constitutional scholars for greater insight to the legal implications of the President's Ukraine scandal—and whether they merit impeachment.

Three witnesses, called by Democrats, each made compelling arguments for the articles of impeachment with which Trump could be charged.

George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley—invited by Republicans—was the lone dissenter.

Keep reading... Show less