Trump Killing $66M in Md. Military Projects to Fund Wall, Brown Says
Three previously-approved military projects in Maryland have been canceled by the Pentagon as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to locate funds for a wall on the southern border, U.S. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D) reported on Wednesday.
Defense officials axed a $37 million project to relocate a hazardous materials pad at Fort Meade along with $16.5 million in road improvements there. Also cut: a $13 million child care facility at Joint Base Andrews.
The three projects, totaling $66.6 million, were among 127 items slashed from the military budget to free up $3.6 billion in border fencing, Brown said.
In his 2016 campaign, President Trump repeatedly pledged that Mexico would pay for the wall. That has not happened.
Although Trump has repeatedly claimed that “hundreds of miles” of new border wall have been constructed since he took office, that is also not true, according to the fact-checking website PolitiFact.
In a statement, Brown, who has served in the military since the early 1990s, called the president’s budget moves “outrageous” and said they “will hurt morale, degrade readiness and make America less safe.”
“President Trump should not build his ineffective, xenophobic vanity project on the backs of our servicemembers and military families,” he added.
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), who represents the district in which Fort Meade is located, called the wall “a $20 billion boondoggle.”
“This is blatantly stealing billions from crucial projects that directly benefit our military families, their quality of life and troop readiness,” Ruppersberger said.
“These projects were duly-appropriated by both Democrats and Republicans and have a far bigger impact on the security of our nation than a wasteful wall,” he added. “On the contrary, the wall was explicitly rejected by Congress, which alone has the power of the purse.”
Virginia, a state with a much larger military footprint than Maryland, got hit harder.
Virginia lost $72 million worth of projects, including a cyber operations facility at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, a Navy ship maintenance facility in Portsmouth, and projects to replace hazardous-materials warehouses in Norfolk and Portsmouth.