September 12, 2019

Udall Offers Amendment to Prevent President from Diverting Defense Money to Wall

In Appropriations Committee, Udall speaks out against President Trump stealing $125 million from military projects in NM to pay for political border wall

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, co-led an amendment in the Appropriations Committee that would have blocked the president from diverting defense funding meant for the military to fund the president’s border wall. Udall joined Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) in offering the amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020 Defense Appropriations Bill, but Senate Republicans voted to block Udall’s measure. As a result, Udall voted against advancing the broader bill until our national security funding is protected against political diversion by the White House for the border wall.

Udall has been outspoken against President Trump’s raiding of $3.6 billion dollars from military construction projects – including $125 million from Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico – to fund the border wall. On top of the construction funding, $2.5 billion in other DOD funds, including $1 billion in personnel funds, have been diverted, for a total of nearly $6 billion. In addition to today’s amendment, Udall is also the lead sponsor of a bipartisan resolution to terminate the president’s national emergency declaration. The president declared the national emergency so that he could raid the funds from military construction projects to finance the wall.

“President Trump has now officially taken $125 million dollars out of critical military construction in New Mexico. An $85 million drone pilot training center at Holloman Air Force base—the money is gone. A $40 million secure information technology facility at White Sands Missile Range—also gone,”Udall said. “New Mexico knows what real border security is: well-trained officers, resources, mobile assets, surveillance technology, combined with well-staffed ports of entry that welcome commerce, visitors—and also asylum seekers seeking refuge from horrific persecution. A multibillion dollar wall is just wasteful, ineffective, and offensive.”

“What’s happening is indisputable,” Udall continued. “National security funds provided by Congress are being diverted for political purposes by the White House.” 

The text of Udall’s amendment is available HERE.