Politics

Brown, Ryan Blast Trump on Military Project Defunding

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan sharply criticized President Donald Trump’s administration over Ohio projects that potentially could be defunded to pay for President Trump’s proposed border wall.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan released a list of military construction projects that are currently at risk of either being significantly reduced, delayed or canceled altogether in order to reallocate $3.6 billion to pay for the wall that the president wants to build along the southern U.S. border.

Among the projects according to the list released by Shanahan are the main gate relocation for Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna Township ($8.8 million) and a new automated multipurpose machine gun range at Camp Garfield, formerly known as Camp Ravenna ($7.4 million). In all, $112 million in Ohio projects are in danger of seeing their funding reduced, delayed or eliminated.

Both Brown, D-Ohio, and Ryan, D-13 Ohio, again rebuked Trump over the attempt to take the funds from the projects.

“The president’s decision to go around Congress and take funding away from our military to support his vanity project is reckless and irresponsible,” Brown said. “Last year, key investments were allocated for the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base, Toledo 180th Fighter Wing, Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp Ravenna — and after last week’s bipartisan rebuke by Congress, I hope the president would realize that any attempt to rob Ohio of these funds would be met with vehement opposition.”

“We expected this unwelcome news, but now it’s official. The president’s fake national emergency is jeopardizing critical military projects in Ohio,” Ryan said. “This is unacceptable. Not only is the President undermining Congress and the Constitution, his actions make America and our service members less secure and less prepared to deal with threats at home and abroad. We should be ensuring our service members have the resources they need to do their job — taking already appropriated funding does the opposite.”

Last month, Trump declared a national emergency to secure additional funds for the wall when the agreement Congress reached to avoid another federal government shutdown did not include the full $5.7 billion he requested for the wall. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he pledged to build the wall and that Mexico would pay for it.

Last week, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted to overturn the emergency declaration. Trump vetoed the legislation, and neither house of Congress is expected to muster enough votes to override the veto.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.