- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2019

Racial and ethnic minority members of Congress complained Thursday that the Pentagon money being siphoned to build President Trump’s border wall is coming “disproportionately” from their districts.

The lawmakers, who belong to the black caucus, the Hispanic caucus and the Asian Pacific American caucus, said half of the bases that saw money for projects cut were in their districts.

They suggested funny business behind the decision-making.

“Due in part to these facts, and the concern that Tri-Caucus Member districts were targeted by the administration, we request that the Department of Defense share its detailed process and methodology surrounding how affected bases and specific military construction projects were selected, how unaffected bases and projects were exempted, and the department’s justification for the selection criteria and process used,” they said in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

The Pentagon several weeks ago followed through on another round of Mr. Trump’s emergency border declaration from February, reprogramming billions of dollars Congress had approved for military construction and sending it instead to erect 175 miles of barriers at the border.

The minority lawmakers said Puerto Rico and Guam took particular hits from the cuts, and nationwide, of the bases targeted, half are in districts represented by caucus members.

Administration officials insist that the money for the projects isn’t being cut but rather redirected away from longer-term projects.

The White House says Congress could put everything back on track by adding more money into this year’s budget to replenish the military construction accounts.

Democrats say they don’t trust the administration not to raid the accounts again if they are replenished.

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