Ryan Criticizes Trump Raid of C-130 Funds for Wall

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan blasted President Donald Trump for taking millions of dollars that would potentially place additional C130J aircraft at Youngstown Air Reserve Station to fund the president’s proposed border wall.

Ryan, D-13 Ohio, announced Thursday that the Trump administration is reallocating $3.8 billion in military funds for construction of the wall along the United States-Mexico border that he promised to build when he ran for president. During the campaign, Trump pledged that Mexico would pay for the structure.

The funds Trump is diverting include $365 million from the C-130J funds, including $196 million from Air Force Reserve and $169 million from Overseas Contingency operations.

Funding for the aircraft was authorized and appropriated in the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020. The new C-130Js were expected to be delivered in 2023.

Earlier this week, Ryan co-led a bipartisan delegation of Ohio officials, an effort that included U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rob Portman R-Ohio, as well as U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, to secure new aircraft for YARS. The Vienna township airbase is one of two finalists competing to receive four new C-130Js.

Ryan said he agreed with his colleague, U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-13 Texas, who said Trump’s diversion of the funds was illegal and violated the separation of powers in the Constitution.

Communities and military bases in states led by both Republicans and Democrats will be harmed by the administration’s “outrageous use of executive power,” Ryan said in a statement.

“President Trump is making our nation less safe and putting our soldiers in danger in order to build a border wall that you can literally dig underneath or climb over top. We were promised that Mexico would pay for this wall, now it’s the American taxpayer and our men and women in uniform that will bear the brunt of this irresponsible decision,” Ryan said.

“I will work with my Republican colleagues and use my position on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to ensure this important program get funded,” he continued. “YARS is a perfect place to land the new C-130J aircrafts, and I will continue to make that case to the United States Air Force.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.