Because Congress refused to give him the money he wanted, in order to come up with the funding for his border wall, Donald Trump needs to move funds from other areas within the military. Right now, The U.S. Department of Defense is suggesting that part of that money come from projects that would support the children of military personnel. This means taking $1.2 billion away from schools, child care centers, and other facilities, according to Reuters.
Trump requested funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border but was rejected by Democrats. In March, he requested $8.6 billion in 2020 for wall funding. Unable to obtain the money he needed, Trump declared a national emergency along the border so that he could appropriate the funds instead.
Trump was immediately criticized for what some people saw as an abuse of power, pointing to the president’s own words to support the case that the situation wasn’t an actual emergency.
“I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said. “But I’d rather do it much faster.”
To fund the wall, the Pentagon compiled a list of projects that weren’t deemed essential with a total of $12.8 billion available to shift around. The news agency reports that 10 percent of those projects on the list are those that support military kids.
About $800 million of the proposed $1.2 billion is slated for projects that aren’t scheduled to begin for some time, which means that the money could be used and replaced in the future.
The military has stated that it won’t allow any funds to be shifted that are earmarked for military housing. Instead, its targeting elementary and middle schools, along with $13 million set aside for a “Child Development Center,” and new buildings at West Point.
The move has surprised some as the president has professed to love the military. However, he has made news this week for attacking war hero John McCain and in January he faced a backlash after going after Adm. William McRaven for not capturing Osama Bin Laden sooner.
Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling called the attack “appalling,” according to CNN.
“The President shifted from the question, which was about freedom of the press, to insulting a retired four-star,” he said.
“It was just really appalling and disgusting that the President would describe him in that way.”
In addition, in 2016, Trump took heat for attacking the parents of slain soldier Humayun Khan.