The defense budget request will include a $9 billion emergency fund, Defense News reported, citing sources familiar with the budget. At least $2 billion of that would be used for rebuilding and repairing infrastructure hit by storms, said its sources, who added that number may go up.
President Trump is demanding – via his national emergency declaration – that DOD divert military construction funding to build a border wall.
DOD has said it will ask Congress to re-fund any milcon projects delayed to prioritize the wall, but many on both sides of the aisle see that as a congressional work-around.
“We’re given the authority to appropriate, and the President is saying, essentially: ‘I don’t like what you’ve appropriated. I’ll just take the money and move it elsewhere,’” Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, according to Defense News. “We’re setting up for a constitutional issue of significant importance.”
The Senate is expected this week to join the House in passing a resolution that would nullify the emergency declaration, but there is unlikely enough support to override a promised veto.
School construction last month at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. U.S. Air Force photo by William Birchfield