Republican Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney are objecting to President Donald Trump’s use of military funds to build the border wall, arguing that the money should instead be spent on projects within their home state of Utah.
Romney and Mike Lee object over admin move to delay defense projects in Utah for $54M to help fund border wall. “Congress has been ceding far too much powers to the executive branch for decades and it is far past time for Congress to restore the proper balance of power,” Lee said
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 4, 2019
While Lee cites Trump’s alleged executive overreach, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper cites Section 2808 of the U.S. Code to allow military construction funds to be used during national emergencies without the explicit approval of Congress.
Esper made the determination that the new border wall is needed to help ICE agents and border enforcement fend off the unprecedented third-world overflow of migrants at the U.S. southern border.
The Trump administration informed Congress today about the projects that would be aborted at least temporarily so $3.6 billion can be diverted toward re-fortifying the wall and building new parts of it, which was one of Trump’s primary campaign promises.
Democratic lawmakers are joining Lee and Romney in their opposition to the border wall funding plan, sharing the same complaint that spending to benefit their state is more important than national security.
“I’m deeply concerned about President Trump’s plan to pull funding from critical national security projects — including millions of dollars from important projects in Virginia — so he can build his border wall,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016, in a public statement.
“The well-being of American troops is the core responsibility of every commander in the military, yet the Commander-in-Chief is shirking that duty so he can advance his own political agenda,” Kaine added.
Lee and Romney have been some of the Senate’s loudest advocates for open immigration in the Republican Party, working constantly to undermine the Trump administration. Lee sponsored the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, and Romney voted for the measure, to flood the U.S. with cheap foreign labor primarily from India.
“Immigration is often a contentious issue, but we should not delay progress in areas where there is bipartisan consensus just because we have differences in other areas,” Lee wrote of the legislation he sponsored with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).
“There is a clear consensus that immigrants should not be penalized due to their country of origin. Treating people fairly and equally is part of our founding creed and the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act reflects that belief,” he added.
The Utah Senators are perhaps the biggest intraparty opposition to President Trump in all of Washington D.C., particularly on the issues of trade and immigration.
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