Funding for Border Wall may Delay Two Military Projects in Washington
The most talked about and much controversial U.S. – Mexico border wall is finally coming. After the longest stretched shutdown because of the conflict between the U.S. Congress and the United States President Donald Trump, U.S. President took the help of National emergency to secure the funding for his promised border wall. Building the wall to minimize the crime rate inside the United States was many of the electoral promises made by Trump in the 2016 Presidential Elections. He seemed to have fulfilled his promise by imposing a National Emergency. This act has not only invited the wrath of Democrats but also of few Republicans in the Senate.
However, due to the securing of huge funding into the border wall, there are few projects inside the country to be delayed or postponed for another year. The U.S. administration has released the list of such projects and Washington’s share in the delayed projects. The projects on hold are $89 million and maintenance facility at Naval Base Kitsap at Bangor and a $23 million maintenance installation at the Army’s Yakima Training Center. Apart from these two projects, other military projects are safe as of now. The projects with effects of border funding are $26.2 million refueling facility for helicopters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM); a $14 million support facility at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane; a $19.45 million Navy fleet support complex on Whidbey Island; and a $66 million project to improve a correctional facility at JBLM.
As per the Defense Department’s notification, the projects of which contracts were awarded before September 30 will have no effect of reserving fund for the border wall. The projects’ fund awarded after the stipulated date would be diverted to border wall construction.
As per the plan, the Department of Homeland Security will prepare a list of “border barrier projects,” and the final say on which of them need the support of armed forces will be of the U.S. Northern Command. After the finalization by the Northern Command, the Defense Department is to decide the particular wall-building projects to be undertaken and the level of funding needed.
It should be noted that President Donald Trump imposed a national emergency at the Mexican border last month after the Congress allowed just $1.4 billion for building barriers. His emergency would give him the hand of diverting $3.6 billion to such border building projects in order to fulfill his electoral promises made in 2016. His declaration of emergency was rejected by the House on a vote of 245 to 182, and the Senate also rejected at 59-41 voting majority. In Senate, a dozen of Republicans also voted against it. Democrats alleged Trump of bypassing constitutional process by declaring an emergency. However, Trump vetoed the bill to reject the national emergency.
Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Tuesday issued a statement opposing the diversion of funds to border wall from Washington military projects. They said that they had been closely monitoring the development on this front, and if the final words come from White House, they would file a lawsuit on this.