WASHINGTON, D.C. – Research by the U.S. Air Force shows President Trump’s plan for his proposed border wall could pose as a national security risk for the U.S. armed forces, according to a report acquired by NBC news.
Trump’s plan defers billions of dollars from the government’s military construction fund to pay for a wall. There are 127 military construction projects that will be put on hold, while the Pentagon decides how to use $3.6 billion for the wall.
Deferred funds include a multi-million-dollar project in California. One former naval officer, Larry Korb, who is also the senior adviser to the Center for Defense Information, said this can be detrimental to the military.
“I was in the Navy, I was a naval flight officer,” said Korb.
Right now, the U.S. Navy is directed to stand down on construction projects, which include schools, and “life safety violations.” Instead the funds will pay for parts of President Trump’s border wall.
Korb spent decades of his life either in the military or in the reserve. Now, Korb works as the senior fellow for the Center for American Progress.
“I think it’s important that you have an objective point of view for the country,” said Korb.
He is digging into how diverting funds could potentially hurt military families across the nation.
“I, every year do an analysis of the defense budget and you know, put that out, talk about things we should do, things we shouldn’t do,” said Korb.
In the golden state, Korb and some top democratic lawmakers are concerned about how the administration is removing $8 million from the California Air National Guard, which is money meant to train pilots for disaster response.
“Well I think with California you have some of the training facilities especially with the National Guard,” said Korb. “And that's going to be more difficult when these people are activated for them to do their job.”
Not only for California, but Korb also said the deferment could hurt the resources and quality of life of military personnel and their families, which could, in turn, affect uniform retention. President Trump said this is a solution to boosting national defense at the southern border.
“The wall is going up,” said Trump. “It’s going up fast.”
The President said this money will build about 173 miles of the border fence with Mexico. It’s all part of his $6.6-billion plan from when he announced the national emergency back in February.
“We’re taking money from all over because as you know the democrats don’t want us to build the wall,” said Trump. “They’re fighting us at every step. But the military has stepped up and they’ve done a fantastic job. All of the renovated wall and then the new wall that's going up 30 feet high is having a tremendous impact.
Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, intends to force a vote to block President Trump from using his national emergency to transfer money from military base construction projects to pay for the fencing. Republicans have expressed support of the President’s national emergency and decision to divert funds, but it could cost them in the next elections, especially for states with projects, like Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas.