NH delegation asks Trump to avoid using shipyard funds to build wall
In a letter sent to President Donald Trump on Tuesday, all four members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation opposed the possible reallocation of congressionally approved funding slated for construction at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the National Guard for use to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
The letter, signed by senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, and representatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, urges the President to consider the impact of his declared state of emergency, and possible repurposing of military construction funds.
“Raiding the Department of Defense’s military construction accounts will have a devastating impact on our national security and will disrupt carefully laid out plans to upgrade our nation’s military infrastructure,” the delegation wrote.
Last Friday Trump declared a national emergency to fund his promised border wall, designating the nation’s military construction budget as one of three potential sources where federal dollars could be diverted.
The Fiscal Year 2019 budget contains approximately $161 million for projects at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and funding for a new readiness center for the National Guard in Pembroke.
Shaheen, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees, said in a statement Tuesday, “When candidate Trump campaigned in New Hampshire, he promised that funding would come from Mexico to pay for his wall, not from taxpayer dollars set aside for drug interdiction, and certainly not military construction projects like those planned for the shipyard and New Hampshire’s National Guard.”
In closing, the delegation wrote, “We urge you to consider the impact of this decision on PNSY, NHNG and national security as it will have a long-lasting adverse effect on our defense capabilities. In announcing your intention to move funds from military construction to fulfill your campaign promise to build a wall you said that the planned military construction projects “didn’t sound too important”. We can assure you that the men and women who rely on these projects to defend this nation would disagree.”
Sixteen states — not New Hampshire — have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging Trump’s use of executive power in declaring the national emergency.