Shaheen, Leahy Unveil Legislation to Defend Constitution & Protect Funding Intended for NH Military Facilities

June 03, 2020

**Legislation builds on Shaheen’s successful efforts to protect funding intended for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard construction from being diverted by President Trump for his wall**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today to unveil the Congressional Power Of The Purse Act to defend Congress’ constitutional authority to make decisions regarding spending and rein in encroachment by the Trump administration.  

“President Trump has repeatedly sought to divert funding provided by Congress to support our troops, their families and military projects to fund his border wall. This unconstitutional behavior directly threatened funding I fought to secure for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard,” said Shaheen. “This overreach – and the potential of similar overreach from future administrations – would be reined in with this new legislation. I urge members on both sides of the aisle to stand up for our Constitution and join Senator Leahy, myself and others in this effort."

The Congressional Power Of The Purse Act would restore Congress’ central role in funding decisions, increase transparency in the Executive Branch, and add teeth to existing budget law.

Senator Shaheen vehemently opposes the Trump administration’s encroachment on Congress’ constitutional power of the purse. She has fought the President’s efforts to divert funding appropriated by Congress to support U.S. national security priorities to pay for a border wall that he promised Mexico would fund. She was instrumental in defending Portsmouth Naval Shipyard construction projects against the President’s previous threat to divert Shipyard funding towards the border wall.  Since the President first announced his emergency declaration last year and projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard were initially listed as potential targets to lose funding, Senator Shaheen successfully defended the funding secured by Congress. Shaheen was also a cosponsor of the bipartisan resolutions to terminate the President’s National Emergency Declaration, which was subsequently vetoed by the President. In February, the Trump administration announced that it again intends to raid military funding to pay for the border wall, to which Senator Shaheen vowed she’ll oppose.

The Senate bill is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Murray (D-WA), Van Hollen (D-MD), Feinstein (D-CA), Coons (D-DE), Baldwin (D-WI), Wyden (D-OR), Merkley (D-OR), Whitehouse (D-RI), Schatz (D-HI), Sanders (I-VT), Tester (D-MT), Udall (D-NM), Cardin (D-MD), Reed (D-RI), Durbin (D-IL), Murphy (D-CT) and Manchin (D-WV). House Budget Chairman John Yarmouth (KY-03) and House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (NY-17) led companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Bill text is available here and a one pager is available here.