The Trump administration announced plans Sept. 3 to divert $3.6 billion in military construction funding to fund the building of the wall along the U.S. southwestern border. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper issued the directive, informing installations of previously slated projects that no longer would be undertaken.
Stars and Stripes reported that the decision would divert funding from roughly 127 construction projects on stateside and overseas military facilities.
The move drew sharp rebuke from Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill.
“Defense spending is supposed to be for national defense. There is no credible reason to divert these funds and doing so in this manner could disrupt national security efforts,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, a West Point graduate who served a total of 20 years as an active-duty and reserve officer.