WASHINGTON, D.C. Feb. 13, 2020 – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced their intention to reprogram $3.8 billion in Department of Defense funding from various procurement priorities – including critical ships, vehicles, and aircraft – to instead fund the wall through the counter-narcotics account.
“Today’s reprogramming request confirms once again that the President is obsessed with fulfilling a campaign promise at the expense of our national security. This Administration has already stolen billions from the Department of Defense in order to begin building the President’s vanity wall and today they are doubling down on bad policy. The President loves to take credit for ‘rebuilding’ the military, but today’s reprogramming decision does the exact opposite – it will prevent the acquisition of critical ships, vehicles, and aircraft. Of the $3.8 billion that the President will raid for the wall, $1.5 billion will come from the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, robbing every state and territory of critical funds specifically added by Congress to address dual-purpose equipment shortfalls – such as fire-fighting, engineering, and communications equipment – to support local authorities for public safety and natural disaster response.
“The Trump Administration claims that every military decision they make is in support of the National Defense Strategy, and that their primary focus is the great power competition with Russia and China. But their policy simply does not match their rhetoric. Rather than investing in the procurement of critical platforms, this administration would rather dump another $3.8 billion into a wall on our southern border.
“It is clear to me, and anyone with experience in national security policy, that a wall on our southern border will do nothing to support our strategic advantage over Russia and China, support counterterrorism, address rogue states, or enhance relations with partners and allies. It’s past time for the administration to align their policy with their rhetoric and focus on the real national security challenges at hand, not the President’s re-election”