Sen. Carper Response Regarding Wall Construction
Please read Sen. Carper response to our AC Member Becky S. regarding "...the Trump administration’s decision to divert billions of dollars from military construction projects to construction of the wall. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter."
October 4, 2019
Dear Mrs. Scarborough,
Thank you for contacting me to express your concern regarding the Trump administration’s decision to divert billions of dollars from military construction projects to construction of the wall. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.
As you know, on February 15, 2019, President Trump declared a national emergency on the southern border to try to secure wall funding without congressional approval. The president asserted that immediate construction of a border wall is a matter of national security, and that it justified unilateral action. President Trump’s emergency declaration ignores the will of the American people, as well as the authority of Congress. On a bipartisan basis, this body has repeatedly chosen not to fund President Trump’s campaign promise of a massive, expensive concrete wall across our Southern border.
That being said, on September 4, 2019, the Department of Defense announced that 127 military construction plans, in both the United States and overseas, would be deferred to support President Trump’s request to free up $3.6 billion for the construction or improvement of barriers along 175 miles of the southern U.S. border. A portion of the funds, reportedly more than half a billion dollars, is being pulled from military projects involving schools or childcare facilities on U.S. military bases worldwide.
As a retired naval flight officer and veteran of the Vietnam War, I understand well the obligation that we have to provide our service members, veterans, and their families with the benefits they have earned through their service to our country. I strongly believe that the benefits that the federal government provides to America's service members and veterans are not gifts, but rather entitlements earned as a result of their courage and sacrifice. With this in mind, I find it deeply troubling that President Trump has moved funding intended to benefit the families of our service members towards building the border wall.
Further, if President Trump is serious about securing the border, he should work towards a bipartisan solution to address our immigration challenges. Building a wall is an expensive and ineffective substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, and it will show little return on investment if we don’t work with our neighbors in Central America to address root causes of migration. Most of the migrants to our southern border travel through Mexico from the Northern Triangle, where poverty, violence, and desperation compel so many families to seek a better life.
Please be assured that I understand and share your concerns regarding President Trump’s decision to raid military funding to build an ineffective border wall. That’s why I voted along with 53 of my colleagues to disapprove of the President’s emergency declaration at the southern border on September 25, 2019. I will continue to push for strong Congressional oversight of Administration spending related to the wall, including attempts like this one to reprogram funds from needed military projects.
I have fought for service members, veterans, and their families for more than three decades. I’m proud of the improvements we’ve made on their behalf, both in Delaware and across America, and I’m not about to give up that fight for our nation’s service members.
Thank you once again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future regarding other matters of importance to you.
With best personal regards, I am,
Sincerely, Tom Carper United States Senator To send another message please visit my website at http://carper.senate.gov/contact and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.