Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said in a tweet Friday that President Trump’s “ego” is the driving force behind the construction of his “little wall.”
“Trump is taking away middle schools from military families, robbing disaster relief from hardest-hit communities,& chopping up people’s property via eminent domain for his little wall,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in reaction to reports of the Pentagon’s plans to divert $3.6 billion to fund the construction of 175 miles of fencing on the southern border.
“This is a project driven by ego – not a desire to serve and improve the lives of human beings,” she added:
Trump is taking away middle schools from military families, robbing disaster relief from hardest-hit communities,& chopping up people’s property via eminent domain for his little wall.
This is a project driven by ego – not a desire to serve and improve the lives of human beings. https://t.co/Rgp0ICOYk4
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 6, 2019
According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon’s cuts would affect projects in 23 states “though just $1.1 billion in cuts would strike the continental U.S.” The plan also diverts $403 million from Puerto Rico and $257 million from Guam.
As Breitbart News reported:
The funds being used are from deferred military construction projects that are not scheduled for award until fiscal year 2020 or later and do not include any family housing, barracks, or dormitory projects.
Approximately $1.8 billion of the funds will come from projects slated for outside the U.S., and the remaining $1.8 billion would come from projects slated for within the U.S. The funds for overseas projects will be prioritized for use first.
Pentagon officials said during a press conference Tuesday that funding for 127 military construction projects would be delayed to build 175 miles of the border wall. The 11 projects include the replacement and new construction of border wall across El Paso and Laredo, Texas; Yuma, Arizona; and San Diego and El Centro, California.
While proponents argue that the cause — border security — is essential and muse that some of the funds used are largely “pork barrel money,” Democrat critics adamantly disagree. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) accused the Trump administration of “stealing.”
“To pay for his xenophobic border wall boondoggle, President Trump is about to weaken our national security by stealing billions of dollars from our military,” she said. “The House of Representatives will not backfill any projects he steals from today.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also decried diverting funds to pay for the “wasteful, ineffective wall”:
The House will continue to fight this unacceptable and deeply dangerous decision in the Courts, in the Congress and in the court of public opinion, and honor our oath to protect the Constitution. https://t.co/d5Nf0V8FkL
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 3, 2019
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the move “a slap in the face to the members of the Armed Forces who serve our country”:
It is a slap in the face to the members of the Armed Forces who serve our country that @realDonaldTrump is willing to cannibalize already allocated military funding to boost his own ego, and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build. https://t.co/sv2ys87bw1
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 3, 2019
The $30 million project at Arizona’s Fort Huachuca will be affected, but Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) tried to walk the line, noting that the project was expected to be delayed.
“We need to secure our border and protect our military; we can and should do both,” McSally said. “I went to the mat to fight for Arizona projects and succeeded.”
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) did not feel the same way, insisting that the cut “harms important planned projects intended to support our military in Southern Arizona, across the United States, and overseas.”
“I have seen the Ground Transportation Building at the Fort and it desperately needed this funding for restoration and repairs, in fact, the funding is long overdue. Fort Huachuca is such a vital asset to our local economy and our entire national security,” she said.
These developments follow reports of Trump urging the Department of Homeland Security to speed up the construction of the border wall — one of his key campaign promises.