Washington – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and 26 additional Senators to introduce the Restoring Military Priorities Act of 2020. The bill would reverse and restore the Department of Defense’s recent transfer of $3.8 billion to be used to build part of President Donald Trump’s ineffective border wall. The bill also reduces DOD’s transfer authority to prevent President Trump from diverting additional funding for his border wall. Currently, there is no other process at hand to reverse a reprogramming.
The most recent DOD reprogramming targeted 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. This was the third time in less than one year that the president has used this unilateral process to bypass Congress and divert funding for his border wall.
Along with Feinstein, Durbin, Leahy, Reed, Schatz and Jones, the legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Chris Coons (D-Del.).
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 vanity project and failed campaign promise.
Full text of the legislation is available here.
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