It's official: Trump is taking $1 billion from military pay and pensions to pay for wall
The Pentagon has flagged $1 billion in funds earmarked for military pay and pensions to give to Trump for his unnecessary and unpopular border wall, the Associated Press reported Thursday night.
According to the AP report, the Pentagon flagged this money for the wall in an effort to limit the amount of funding Trump would take from military construction projects.
Jon Soltz, chair of VoteVets — a progressive veterans political organization — said that raiding money meant for military salaries in order to pay for Trump's "racist, vanity wall" is "absolutely disgusting."
The money is available, apparently, because the Army fell short by 6,500 recruits, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told the AP.
"This is pay that would have gone to Army recruits that we can't recruit," Durbin told the AP. "So there's a 'savings' because we can't recruit. The other part was they offered a voluntary change in military pensions, and they overestimated how many people would sign up for it."
Part of the reason the Army is having trouble recruiting service members is due to the Trump administration's immigration policies that have stopped the Pentagon from recruiting high-quality immigrants who don't possess green cards to serve.
And Soltz said that using this money meant for military pay to fund the wall won't help the military achieve their recruiting targets.
"When we're not meeting our recruiting goals, the one thing that is not going to help attract new recruits is to say, 'We might come after your pay, or not fund your other needs, to build the wall,'" VoteVets' Soltz said in a statement to Shareblue. "If the question is whether or not Donald Trump would put his wall ahead of our troops and their families, we have our answer: Yes."
Ultimately, the only reason why Trump is resorting to raiding funds slated for military pay in order to build the wall is because Congress refused to allocate money for the project.
So, Trump threw a temper tantrum and declared a national emergency on the border in order to go over Congress' head and get the money anyway.
And Trump is set to be embarrassed, as a handful of Republicans will join Democrats to repeal Trump's emergency and deliver yet another rebuke to the embattled president.
Published with permission of The American Independent. Attribution: Emily Singer.