Shaheen Statement on Defunding of Military Construction Projects to Pay for Trump’s Border Wall

September 04, 2019

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement on President Trump’s decision to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects across the country to pay for his border wall. The list of military projects does not include any in New Hampshire, specifically, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which was previously threatened by the President’s emergency declaration to seize funding for his border wall. 

“The funding for military construction projects should not be up for grabs – they were specifically appropriated by Congress and signed into law. The Department of Defense made the right call in listening to New Hampshire’s concerns about the critical importance of continuing investments in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard,” said Senator Shaheen. “While I’m glad the Shipyard won’t be directly impacted by these cuts, it’s egregious that our national security priorities are being held hostage so the President can keep a failed campaign promise that he vowed Mexico would pay for.” 

Since the President first announced his emergency declaration and projects at the Shipyard were listed as potential targets to lose funding, Senator Shaheen fiercely advocated on behalf of the Shipyard and worked to defend the funding secured by Congress. Shaheen helped introduce a bipartisan joint resolution with Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to block the President’s national emergency declaration and uphold the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution, similar to the resolution that passed Congress. 

Senator Shaheen is a member of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees and has fought tirelessly to provide funding to the Shipyard. The funding for three of the four projects at the Shipyard that the President’s declaration previously threatened was passed by Congress and signed into law in September of 2018.  The fourth project, the Paint, Blast and Rubber facility, was funded in 2017. 

Senator Shaheen previously sent a letter with the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation to the President, urging him to reconsider his actions which could have an adverse impact on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. In March, Shaheen personally appealed to Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer to protect funding for Shipyard projects from being diverted to pay for the President’s border wall. Senator Shaheen joined Senators Hassan (D-NH), King (I-ME) and Collins (R-ME) in April to reiterate the need to protect the Shipyard’s funding from the emergency declaration.