Bennet, Durbin Introduce Bill to Reverse and Restore Military Funding After President Trump Repeatedly Raids Defense Department for His Border Wall

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and 30 Democratic senators in introducing the Restoring Military Priorities Act of 2020. The bill would reverse and restore President Trump’s short-sighted and dangerous transfer of $3.8 billion from the Department of Defense to help construct his ineffective border wall. The bill also reduces the Department of Defense’s transfer authority so that President Trump cannot subsequently divert additional funding for the wall. 

The most recent administration reprogramming raids $1.7 billion in National Guard funds, potentially undermining the readiness of the Colorado National Guard. This was the third time in less than one year that the administration has unilaterally bypassed Congress and diverted funding for the president’s border wall. A previous diversion last September siphoned funds from the Space Control Facility at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

“President Trump has shown that he will do anything – even undermine our national security – to fulfill a ridiculous campaign promise. When the president couldn’t get Mexico to pay for his wall, he went to Congress. When his own party in Congress refuted him, he raided funds from the military. And now he’s done it again, and this time, it’s the men and women of our National Guard who will suffer,” said Bennet. “We need to support our servicemembers as they have always supported us – that’s why we’ve introduced this bill to restore essential funds to the Department of Defense and restore Congress’ power of the purse.”

“Every dollar diverted from our men and women in uniform for President Trump’s ‘big, beautiful’ border wall was appropriated by Congress to address a need identified by our military.  This latest reprogramming was not just an attack on Congress’ power of the purse, it was an attack on military readiness,” said Durbin. “The Senate should reject the President’s money grab and reassert our Constitutionally-granted powers by supporting this legislation.” 

In addition to Bennet and Durbin, the legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ben Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Chris Coons (D-Del.).

The bill text is available HERE.