The Trump administration announced last week that it will halt the construction of the Fort Huachuca Ground Transport Equipment Building in order to help fund the President’s long-promised border wall.
The $30 million project was intended to help store the base’s military vehicles and electronic equipment, but is now on hold indefinitely.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally (R-Arizona) defended the administration’s decision, saying the project was already facing postponement due to an environmental cleanup. McSally seemed to lay the blame for the delay at the feet of the Army. “Had the Army completed this sooner, the project would not have been delayed and would not have even been up for discussion,” McSally said in a statement on her website.
Mark Kelly, who is expected to run against McSally in next year’s election, has a different view. In response to the announcement, he tweeted, “Fort Huachuca and our national security are suffering the consequences of this.”
U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, also criticized the decision.
Fort Huachuca is just one of dozens of projects losing funding across the country, as the Pentagon shifts roughly $3.6 billion from the defense budget to build Trump’s wall.
Trump, who failed to secure congressional funding for the wall during the 35-day government shutdown earlier this year, responded by declaring a national emergency in February, which freed him to use Pentagon funds to pay for the wall.
The House and Senate both voted to pass a resolution blocking the funding maneuver, arguing that Trump was highjacking Congress’ oversight on spending, but Trump vetoed their measure and House Republicans quickly backed down, with only 14 Republicans joining House Democrats in voting to override Trump’s veto, leaving it short of the needed two-thirds, veto-proof majority.
Organizations like the Sierra Club, the ACLU and Southern Border Communities Coalition responded by filing a lawsuit, challenging the Trump administration’s funding plan in court and asking for an immediate freeze on the reallocation of military funds.
A U.S. District Judge ruled in their favor, slapping an injunction on the Trump administration to prevent them from using military funds to build Trump’s wall. But the administration appealed to the Supreme Court, which ultimately ruled in a 5-4 decision that the administration could use military funds to build part of the wall while the lawsuit is ongoing.