February 14, 2020

Manchin Statement On Administration's Decision To Transfer $3.8B From Military To Fund Border Wall

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement in response to the Department of Defense (DoD) decision to transfer $3.8 billion from various DoD accounts, including $1.765 billion from the National Guard and Reserve, to fund construction of the southwest border wall.

“No other Democrat has been more supportive of securing our border. I have voted time and again to fund construction of a border wall. But we cannot do so at the expense of our brave servicemembers. The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, and these funds were explicitly dedicated for other critical DoD programs, including $1.765 billion for the National Guard and Reserve. These funds were intended to upgrade outdated aircraft and maintain readiness by improving equipment and weapons systems, which could affect West Virginia’s National Guard and Reserve units’ preparedness as well as manufacturing jobs in our state.

“This is a direct violation of Congress’ power to appropriate funds. I intend to get answers on how this impacts our national security and my state during the upcoming Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) budget hearings as to whether or not the service secretaries and the National Guard Bureau were consulted before this much needed funding was stripped away from them. Someone should remind this Administration that Congress writes appropriations bills.”