Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Congressmen Ask Trump to Keep His Hands Off San Antonio Military Construction Funds

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2019 at 4:44 PM

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Members of San Antonio's congressional delegation are waging a bipartisan war to stop President Donald Trump from using construction funds from local military facilities for his border wall.

Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd joined Democratic counterparts Lloyd Doggett, Henry Cuellar and Joaquin Castro in firing off a letter to Trump that requests the president not take money from "critical infrastructure projects" at Joint Base San Antonio, the umbrella for the city's military sites.

"Trump just keeps bringing up phony security issues and ignoring the real ones," said Doggett, who maintains that cuts at JBSA would hurt military readiness.

After vetoing House and Senate resolutions overturning an emergency declaration aimed at bypassing congressional funding, Trump is now poised to spend $3.6 billion in military construction funds to construct his border wall.



The congressmen's letter highlights fiscal 2018 projects worth $28.5 million that would replace the control tower at San Antonio's Kelly Field and the aging dining hall at Camp Bullis. The tower is the second-oldest in the military and "beyond repair," the letter notes, while Camp Bullis is the primary field training site for all enlisted combat medics.

The letter also points out that the military has slated more than $153 million for new basic training facilities in San Antonio — the starting point for all military airmen. Without upgrades to the facilities, "this significantly large and historic command could leave," the lawmakers add.

Doggett said he's asked Pentagon officials to be more specific about pending cuts but has yet to receive answers. So far, the only guidance has come from a Defense Department-supplied list, which includes $77 million in San Antonio projects potentially on the chopping block.

"There's no certainty that any project here is safe in the present or in the future, so long as Donald Trump is president," Doggett said.

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