Smith Statement on President Trump’s Declaration of a National Emergency In Order to Take Funds Supporting Military Families and Military Readiness and Spend Them on His Wall
February 15, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency:
“This appalling decision by the Trump administration is an egregious example of the President putting his political agenda ahead of the interest of the United States. The President has decided to take tens of billions of dollars from projects that support the military and their families across the country and around the world to build his wall without Congressional approval, projects which he says ‘didn’t sound too important to me.’ It is utterly disrespectful of U.S. national security and the needs of our men and women in uniform, and it further undermines his credibility in requesting the upcoming defense budget. All for a border wall that is the complete wrong approach to border security in the first place.
“As the President begins to steal money from military needs to build his wall, Congress must conduct oversight to identify exactly which projects supporting servicemembers and their families the President has chosen to value less than this political stunt. Remember, this is only a portion of an estimated $30 billion that the President ultimately wants to spend on the wall. He owns responsibility for this abject policy decision, much as he owns responsibility for this disgraceful government shutdown that impacted so many families and communities across the country.
“It is clear that there is no national emergency—only a manufactured crisis—and there has been no attempt to explain how the wall has anything to do with supporting U.S. military needs, as the law intends. From the beginning, President Trump’s obsession over a border wall has been based on misguided anti-immigrant fervor, not U.S. national security. The American people are utterly opposed to this gimmick, and President Trump should be ashamed of himself.”