Durbin On Marine Corps Memo: President Trump Is Endangering Our Troops To Build His Wall

PEORIA – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today released the following statement after the Los Angeles Times published a memo from the Marine Corps regarding the danger being created by diverting excess Department of Defense funding to President Trump’s border wall rather than Marine Corps priorities, such as repairs at Camp Lejeune and training.  Last week, the Senate voted to reject President Trump’s emergency declaration by a bipartisan vote of 59-41.

“If the President won’t listen to the American people or Congress, then listen to the Commandant of the Marine Corps – the President’s decision to reprogram funding from Marine Corps priorities is ‘imposing unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency.’  When will the President wake up and put the U.S. military over his campaign promises?”

Earlier this week, the Department of Defense sent Congress a list of military construction projects that could be delayed in order to pay for President Trump’s border wall.  This came after repeated calls from Durbin and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), who led a letter to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan where they called on the Defense Department to provide Congress with a list of military projects it intends to defund to pay for President Trump’s border wall.

Earlier this month, Durbin, Leahy, and Schatz also asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for a legal opinion on the authorities of the Department of Defense to transfer funds to build a border wall without the express approval of Congress.