Rubén Gallego Wants to Cap Defense’s Ability to Repurpose Funds
The Pentagon this month announced that it would shift $1.5 billion from its budget for Donald Trump’s border wall. The funding largely comes from personnel accounts in the Navy, Army, and the Air Force -- and the Air Force is the only service to lose funding for hardware, including nuclear and conventional weapons, surveillance aircraft updates, and space programs. Congressman Rubén Gallego (D-AZ) wants to limit any future “withdrawals” from military programs. Gallego teamed up with House Armed Services Committee Chair Adam Smith (D-WA) and Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) to introduce a bill that would limit the Department of Defense’s authority to repurpose funds that were designated for military construction. “By stealing money from troop recruitment accounts, counter narcotics efforts, and critical infrastructure, the Trump Administration is making our country less safe. This bill will ensure that the armed services will no longer be a bottomless piggy bank for the President’s worst political impulses, and will instead stay a ready, prepared, and highly professional force focused on the external defense of the nation rather than on doing the Department of Homeland Security’s job,” Gallego said.The legislation would cap national emergency military construction authority at $250 million per emergency and tighten the ability to waive other provisions of the law in carrying out the projects. The bill would only allow money that cannot be spent for its intended purpose to be used for an emergency. Citing the “Administration’s willful abuse of power,” the lawmakers want addition congressional oversight and would require additional information in a congressional notification, as well as a waiting period following the notification to Congress. More here.