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The GOP Senators Who Helped Trump Raid Projects From Their Own States and Face Voters in 2020

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Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Senators McSally, Gardner, Tillis, Graham, and Cornyn Take Well-deserved Heat


The Trump administration may be taking heat for their decision to raid $3.6 billion from 127 approved and appropriated military construction projects in favor of Trump’s border wall obsession, but the people getting singed by fire are his GOP congressional enablers.

Of note, there are six Republican Senators who are running for re-election in 2020 who voted to enable Trump’s border wall raid of military projects but now are seeing home state projects halted, costing the state jobs, military preparedness and support for military families.

Here are the six senators: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who continues to use his power to enable and defend Trump; Arizona Senator Martha McSally; Colorado Senator Cory Gardner; North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis; South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham; and Texas Senator John Cornyn. It is not yet clear when these Senators will learn that when you stick with Trump, he will stick it to you.

Here is some of the reaction to date:

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: 

Mitch McConnell talked about getting that money for those bases to quote, ‘keep America safe.’ Donald Trump has raided that money now, and he’s diverting it to a vanity project that John Kelly, that Lindsey Graham, that John Cornyn, that so many Republicans said will not help, will not help keep the border secure … Was it $80 million he stole from North Carolina, Thom Tillis’ state? He’s talking about Alabama? Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn about North Carolina, and apparently Thom Tillis can’t do anything to stop that … Martha McSally didn’t have what it took to protect Arizona from being looted … You look at the rest of the people on the list, Lindsey Graham. All the golfing in the world couldn’t stop the president from looting $11 million from the good people of South Carolina, $8 million from Cory Gardner in Colorado…

The New York Times, “Military Base Loses Funding for New School to Trump’s Border Wall”:

For almost two decades, families at Fort Campbell, the sprawling Army base along the Kentucky-Tennessee border, have borne the brunt of the country’s war efforts as a steady clip of troops with the 101st Airborne Division and from Special Operations units deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

This week, the families discovered that they would not get the new middle school they were expecting so that President Trump could build his border wall. The school is on the list of 127 projects, touching nearly every facet of American military life, that will be suspended to shift $3.6 billion to the wall.

The Pentagon’s decision to divert $62.6 million from the construction of Fort Campbell’s middle school means that 552 students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades will continue to cram themselves in, 30 to a classroom in some cases, at the base’s aging Mahaffey Middle School.

Washington Post’s Greg Sargent on the harm to kids at Fort Campbell KY:

The diversion of military funds to pay for President Trump’s border wall obsession — which is taking money away from more than 100 military projects around the country, just as a junkie’s habit might take money from the grocery kitty —provides an opening to reconsider the extraordinary depths to which Mitch McConnell has sunk to enable Trump’s corruption.

The Senate Majority Leader has not only assisted and protected Trump in doing great damage to our democracy, for naked partisan purposes, though that’s a major stain. McConnell has in effect now prioritized the mission of enabling and defending Trump’s corruption over the interests of his own state and its constituents.

… McConnell himself had previously boasted of funding he had secured for Fort Campbell families. Yet subsequently, McConnell voted to uphold Trump’s national emergency, which will now take funding away.

Below are examples of other state and local voices:

Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini, “Arizona takes $30 million hit for Trump’s border wall (Wasn’t Mexico supposed to pay?)

There was no doubt during his campaign. Donald Trump said Mexico would pay for his border wall. Remember?

Instead, the Defense Department has been made by the president to divert $3.6 billion from 127 projects, including $30 million for a project at Arizona’s Fort Huachuca, in order to fund some additional fencing.

…The politicians supporting Trump’s narcissism say the $3.6 billion in funding can be restored in future budgets. Who’ll be paying for that I wonder? Mexico? Or you?

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego tweeted,

We went from Mexico will pay for it, to Arizona will pay for it.  Heck of a job @senMcSallyAZ

Colorado Sun, “$8 million military construction project at Colorado Springs base shifted to pay for border wall”:

Construction at a military base in Colorado Springs is being deferred as part of budget shifts to pay for President Donald Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. That comes after assurances from the White House to Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner that no Colorado bases would be affected for the 2019 fiscal year.

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet said,

This is ridiculous … President Trump couldn’t get what he wanted through the ordinary budget process — even, by the way, when he had Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate — and then he resorted to declaring emergencies and reprogramming the money. And it’s going to come at a cost to the mission at Peterson [Air Force Base] and in Colorado.

Charlotte Observer editorial, “Thom Tillis’ terrible, no good and totally predictable bad day”: 

… $80 million worth of construction projects at North Carolina military bases were being cut to shift funds to building the president’s wall on the Mexican border. The total includes $40 million for a new battalion complex and ambulatory care center at Camp Lejeune, as well as a planned elementary school to serve families at Fort Bragg. The $80 million in N.C. cuts were more than in any other state with a GOP senator facing reelection in 2020 … when you buy political favor in exchange for your principles, the bill is always more than you thought it would be.

Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus tweeted,

As hurricane heads for Camp Lejeune Trump takes $3.6b from military for needless wall. Same amt Marines say needed to fix Lejeune after last storm.

The State newspaper in Columbia, SC, “Trump taking $11 million from SC military project to fund border wall

South Carolina will lose nearly $11 million that had been designated for building a new fire station at a local military installation … The decision to target Laurel Bay at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort … contradicts the assurances from South Carolina Republican elected officials earlier this year that federal funding for military construction projects in the state were not likely to get touched. … It puts Trump’s staunchest South Carolina allies in a difficult spot as they are busy preparing for Hurricane Dorian to wreak havoc along the state’s coast.

San Antonio Current, “Trump’s Reallocation of Funds to Border Wall Will Kill $18.5 Million Project at San Antonio Base”:

President Trump’s reallocation of Defense Department construction funds to pay for his border wall will siphon off $18.5 million slated to build a dining hall at San Antonio’s Camp Bullis, federal documents show. The dining hall was one of 127 construction projects the military will need to defer this year so the administration can shift $3.6 billion into constructing more wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. One other Texas project — $20 million in road construction at El Paso’s Fort Bliss — came under the ax.

‘President Trump raids military dollars to waste on an unnecessary wall that he falsely claimed Mexico would pay for,’ said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-San Antonio and Austin. ‘This is just more of his dangerous, un-American abuse of presidential power — overriding Congress and the people, rejecting true security needs. Always taking from the deserving to fund the futile.’

Democratic Senate candidate MJ Hegar said that John Cornyn,

should be ashamed that he enabled his political allies to steal $38.5 million from projects to improve the conditions at Fort Bliss and Joint Base San Antonio for our men and women in uniform,” and said Cornyn “stood behind his political ally and voted in favor of the Emergency Declaration, which has enabled these national security funds to be ripped away from Texas bases.