02.26.20

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Legislation to Reverse & Restore Military Funding After President Trump Repeatedly Raids Defense Department For His Border Wall

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined her Democratic colleagues to introduce the Restoring Military Priorities Act of 2020, which would reverse and restore the Department of Defense’s (DoD) recent transfer of $3.8 billion  to be used to build part of President Donald Trump’s wasteful border wall. The legislation reduces DoD’s transfer authority so that DoD cannot turn around and try to divert additional funding for President Trump’s border wall. The bill was led by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and cosponsored by more than two dozen Senate Democrats.

The President’s unilateral action takes $101 million that was appropriated by Congress for Oshkosh Defense to build heavy wheeled defense vehicles for the Army. This comes after Senator Baldwin worked to secure this funding in the FY20 spending bill to support hundreds of jobs in small and medium sized businesses across the Midwest and is crucial to our national and economic security. Baldwin also helped secure funding for the America-class Amphibious Navy Ship which would use diesel engine-driven electrical power generation systems provided by Fairbanks Morse in Beloit. Trump’s reprogramming takes $650 million that was just added last year for a new ship that Fairbanks would have provided engines for. This program supports more than 100 jobs in Beloit.

“President Trump promised the people of Wisconsin that Mexico would pay for his border wall and now he is making American taxpayers fund it,” Senator Baldwin said. “Wisconsin manufacturers strengthen our national defense and create jobs, but Trump is taking funding away from our economy and the workers that build it.”

This month, Senator Baldwin called on President Trump to reverse his decision to take funding away from Wisconsin manufacturers who are working to support our national defense and create jobs in Wisconsin and across the Midwest. Baldwin also joined her colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee in objecting to the President's transfer of $3.8 billion from the Department of Defense to fund his border wall.

In the spring of 2019, the Defense Department transferred $2.5 billion in funding to be used to build part of President Trump’s border wall, and the President later raided an additional $3.6 billion in military construction funds for his wall.  Earlier this month, the Defense Department reprogrammed another $3.8 billion from the men and women of the National Guard and a variety of programs added by Congress to address shortfalls that were in many cases identified by military leaders in critical equipment. 

In January, it was reported that President Trump intends to raid $7.2 billion in DoD funds this year to pay for his wall, diverting funding from military families and forcing American taxpayers to pay for his failed campaign promise.

Full text of the Restoring Military Priorities Act of 2020 is available here.