September 26, 2019

Udall Offers Amendment to Prevent President from Diverting Military Construction Money to Wall

In Appropriations Committee, Udall speaks out against Trump administration raiding $125 million from New Mexico military projects

Udall also co-sponsors amendment to fund smart border security instead of spending $5 billion on president’s political wall project 

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 military construction funding to fund the president’s border wall. Udall joined Senators Jon Tester (D-Mt.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) in offering the amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, but Senate Republicans voted to block Udall’s measure.

Udall also co-sponsored an amendment to remove the $5 billion spent on the president’s border wall in the DHS appropriations bill, and instead fund smart border and national security measures. The amendment was also voted down by Senate Republicans. 

Udall voted against advancing the DHS appropriations bill because it wastes $5 billion on the president’s border wall, leaving other pressing homeland security needs underfunded, and has no restrictions against the Trump administration raiding military construction funding and using it to pay for the 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. In addition to today’s amendment, Udall is also the lead sponsor of the bipartisan resolution to terminate the president’s national emergency declaration, which passed the Senate yesterday with strong bipartisan support. The president declared the national emergency as a pretext so that he could use the National Emergencies Act to raid the funds from military construction projects to finance the wall.

“In a true end-run around Congress’s Article I spending power, the president declared a phony emergency at our southern border and raided funds for our military projects to fulfill a campaign promise,” Udall said. “Not only does the president’s action threaten our national security and military readiness, it threatens the very foundations of our constitutional democracy. And it guts the Appropriations Committee’s purpose. New Mexico is losing $125 million.  Twenty-two other states are losing critically-needed projects – from Alabama to Louisiana, Kentucky to New York. We have to stop this idea that Milcon money is a piggy-bank for presidents now.  Or there will be no stop to it.”