Shaheen Leads NH Delegation Letter Warning President Trump Against Taking Critical Federal Funding From Military Construction Projects to Build Border WallFebruary 19, 2019
** Shaheen Leads NH Delegation in Letter to Trump Urging the President Not To Divert Funding from the New Hampshire National Guard & Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to Construct Border Wall that He Promised Mexico Would Pay For **
**Letter Cites Outstanding Dry Dock and other Facility Improvements at the Shipyard, as well as a New Readiness Center at the New Hampshire National Guard Base in Pembroke**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees, led a letter with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01), urging the Trump administration to reconsider its plans to reallocate funding, as part of a so-called “national emergency” declaration, that was specifically appropriated by Congress for military construction projects to fund additional barriers along the southern border. In their letter, the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation highlights that this action could have an adverse impact on the ability of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) and the New Hampshire National Guard (NHNG) to meet critical national security requirements.
“When candidate Trump campaigned in New Hampshire he promised that funding would come from Mexico to pay for his wall, not from taxpayer dollars set aside for drug interdiction, and certainly not military construction projects like those planned for the Shipyard and New Hampshire’s National Guard,” said Senator Shaheen. “I am exploring every option to protect Shipyard and National Guard resources. This so-called national emergency is an attempt by President Trump to circumvent Congress and the will of the American people, and is an unconstitutional power grab.”
In their letter, the Delegation underscored important New Hampshire projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard that could be affected by the President’s actions. They wrote, “As you are aware, in February 2018, the Navy released the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan to address deficiencies across our public naval shipyards. The plan calls for a $21 billion investment over the next 20 years for dry dock recapitalization, facility layout and optimization and capital equipment modernization. These improvements are necessary to ensure our carriers and submarines can support national security missions around the world as the Navy is increasing the size of its fleet to 355. Congress has already approved funding for these projects... Given the already high demand of submarine maintenance and the projected submarine shortfall, we cannot undermine national security by diverting these funds.”
The Delegation also emphasized the importance of other national defense priorities supported by the New Hampshire National Guard, including a new Readiness Center in Pembroke, which could be at risk if the President pulls this funding to spend on the border wall.
In closing, the Delegation wrote, “We urge you to consider the impact of this decision on PNSY, NHNG and national security as it will have a long-lasting adverse effect on our defense capabilities. In announcing your intention to move funds from military construction to fulfill your campaign promise to build a wall you said that the planned military construction projects “didn’t sound too important”. We can assure you that the men and women who rely on these projects to defend this nation would disagree.”
Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, fought to secure the funding for these PSNY and NHNG priorities in spending legislation that was signed into law in September.
The Delegation’s letter can be read in full here.
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