A group of lawmakers recently questioned the Department of Defense’s transfer of $1 billion in military personnel funding to an account designated for border wall funding.
Democratic members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and related agencies sought information from the Department of Defense regarding how the transfer to the Drug Interdiction and Counter-narcotics Activities account would impact military readiness initiatives this year.
“We strongly object to both the substance of the funding transfer, and to the Department implementing the transfer without seeking the approval of the congressional defense committees and in violation of provisions in the defense appropriation itself,” the senators wrote in correspondence to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. “As a result, we have serious concerns that the Department has allowed political interference and pet projects to come ahead of many near-term, critical readiness issues facing our military.”
The letter was signed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), John Tester (D-MT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Tom Udall (D-NM).
The Defense Department previously provided Congress with a list of more than $10 billion worth of military construction projects that could be delayed in order to pay for the border wall.