WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A day after the Pentagon formally approved a request from President Donald Trump to reprogram $3.6 billion in military funding for the construction of a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said three military projects in the state will be deferred.
Among the projects that will face delays are a hazardous cargo pad at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County and infrastructure improvements at Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County, Ruppersberger said.READ MORE: 'An Absolute Game Changer': Hogan And Transportation Officials Break Ground On Howard Street Tunnel Expansion Project
The Democratic congressman said the $50 million redirected from Joint Base Andrews would also have gone to a new child development center, while the $16.5 million originally to be spent at Fort Meade would have gone toward fixing roads.
Ruppersberger blasted the president’s decision, calling the border wall a “$20 billion boondoggle.”
“These projects were duly-appropriated by both Democrats and Republicans and have a far bigger impact on the security of our nation than a wasteful wall,” he said in a statement. “On the contrary, the wall was explicitly rejected by Congress, which alone has the power of the purse.”
Senator Ben Cardin is also calling out President Trump. He said that it’s a violation of his constitutional responsibilities as President.READ MORE: Gov. Hogan Urges Marylanders To Get Vaccine Or Booster Shot Following Discovery Of Omicron Variant
“It’s protection at Base Andrews for explosive devices, its traffic issues getting into Fort Meade if you cant get to and from. It’s childcare centers which is quality of life for the people at Andrews. So our soldiers who we talk about honoring all the time, who are incredible at keeping us safe, and the President now is jeopardizing their lifestyles and their safety.”
A total of 127 defense department projects are expected to be affected by the move, according to the department’s website.
The $3.6 billion will allow for 11 construction or upgrade projects to 175 miles of wall. The goal, a defense department spokesman said, is to increase the effectiveness of border security efforts, which will reduce the demand for personnel in some areas.
Half of the money will come from deferred projects overseas, the defense department said.MORE NEWS: Maryland Weather: Winds Contribute To Chilly Weather, Plus A Chance For Flurries
Wall construction could begin on defense department-owned land within 130 to 145 days, while construction on other land would have varying timelines.