April 01, 2019

Udall, Heinrich File RAIDER Act Amendment to Block Trump Administration from Raiding Disaster, Military Funds for Wall

Amendment to disaster supplemental bill would bar the transfer of appropriated funds for Trump’s border wall

Action comes as Trump administration plans to raid military personnel funding to build 46 miles of border wall in NM

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich filed amendments to the pending disaster supplemental appropriations bill, including one to block the Trump administration from raiding disaster relief, military, or any other appropriated funds for the purposes of building the president’s border wall without authorization from Congress.

The first amendment would block the Trump administration’s current attempt, without approval from Congress, to redirect $1 billion in already-appropriated military personnel funding to build 57 miles of the president’s border wall, including 46 miles in New Mexico, and any other unauthorized funding raid for a Southern border wall.  The senators’ amendment is based on their bill, the Restrictions Against Illegitimate Declarations for Emergency Re-appropriations (RAIDER) Act of 2019, which prevents the president from utilizing the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to raid critical military construction and disaster response funds to construct his wall along the southern border.

The second amendment is based on a section already included in the House-passed version of the disaster supplemental appropriations bill in January, Sec. 1103 of H.R. 268, and would ensure that no funds intended for disaster relief or DOD in the supplemental funding bill are then diverted by President Trump to pay for his wall without congressional approval. Once the Senate acts, the two underlying bills will need to be reconciled and passed again before going to the President.

“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I can tell you that we deliberately set aside funding for very specific and necessary purposes – including for relief for communities hit by disaster, for military readiness, and for the needs of our military families,” Udall said. “But the president and his administration are trying to raid those funds to throw more money at a border wall that is wasteful, destructive, and ineffective, without the sign-off of Congress or the American people. If the president stopped playing politics, both parties could find common ground to address the humanitarian challenges at our border, but the president’s wall isn’t going to do the job. We need to stand up against this power grab targeting New Mexico’s border.”

“We cannot allow President Trump to raid taxpayer dollars to pay for a wall that New Mexicans don’t want or need. With this legislation, we can prevent funds designated for critical military construction and disaster response from being raided for a wasteful border wall under the false pretense of a national emergency,” said Heinrich. 

The amendment texts are available here and here.