WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin continued her efforts this week to prevent the Trump administration from diverting millions in federal funding intended for Wisconsin manufacturers in order to build part of President Trump’s ineffective wall on the southwest border.
Today, Senator Baldwin joined her Democratic colleagues to introduce the Restoring Military Priorities Act of 2020, which would reverse and restore the Department of Defense’s (DoD) recent transfer of $3.8 billion to be used for the border wall. The legislation reduces DoD’s transfer authority so that DoD cannot turn around and try to divert additional funding for President Trump’s border wall. The bill was led by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and cosponsored by more than two dozen Senate Democrats.
Baldwin also reached out directly to President Trump this week, calling on him to reverse his decision to take funding away from Wisconsin manufacturers who are working to support our national defense and create jobs in Wisconsin and across the Midwest.
“You promised the people of Wisconsin that Mexico would pay for your ineffective border wall. However, you are once again making American taxpayers fund it and you are taking funding away from Wisconsin manufacturers that strengthen our national defense and create jobs,” Senator Baldwin wrote to the president. “I urge you to reverse this harmful decision and work with Congress to provide sufficient funding for programs that support our national security and maintain the industrial workforce we need to ensure our servicemembers have the support they need.”
The President’s unilateral action takes $101 million that was appropriated by Congress for Oshkosh Defense to build heavy wheeled defense vehicles for the Army. This comes after Senator Baldwin worked to secure this funding in the FY20 spending bill to support hundreds of jobs in small and medium sized businesses across the Midwest and is crucial to our national and economic security.
Baldwin also helped secure funding for the America-class Amphibious Navy Ship which would use diesel engine-driven electrical power generation systems provided by Fairbanks Morse in Beloit. Trump’s reprogramming takes $650 million that was just added last year for a new ship that Fairbanks would have provided engines for. This program supports more than 100 jobs in Beloit.
In 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 $3.6 billion more in military construction funds for his wall as well. In January, it was reported that President Trump intends to raid $7.2 billion from military 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.