President Donald Trump wants to delay two military base projects in Hawaii and a $50 million machine gun range on Guam along with military projects around the country in order to fund a $3.6 billion border wall.
The Washington Post reported the Pentagon is diverting funds from 127 projects to pay for a wall across the southern border of the U.S. The newspaper reported that the projects officially are only delayed, but may be defunded if Congress doesn’t replenish the money.
Hawaii stands to lose $31.5 million for two projects while Guam will be out more than $257 million across eight projects.
The bulk of the money for Hawaii would have funded a new gate at the back entrance to the Marine Corps base in Kaneohe.
A ship docks at a Navy base on Guam in 2016. Like Hawaii, Guam’s economy is highly dependent on the military.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Hawaii Rep. Ed Case said in a press release that cancelling the gate construction would make the Department of Defense fall “out of compliance with anti-terrorism and force protection standards and regulations.”
“This attempted raid on already-funded projects by the President is not only a subversion of the authority of Congress, but will compromise military readiness and security and lower morale across the Department of Defense,” he said.
Hawaii is also losing $5 million for a consolidated training facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Sen. Brian Schatz from Hawaii said in a press release that the facility “was intended to provide the units with training classrooms, nursing service space, mobility training bag storage, aerospace medicine packaging, and other essential storage.”
“I will strongly oppose any request by this administration to provide additional money for the projects it intends to defund,” Schatz said. “The American people cannot be asked to foot the bill a second time for projects that this administration has decided to funnel money away from to pay for wall that will do nothing to end the humanitarian crisis on the southern border or protect our national security.”
The projects that would be delayed on Guam include more than $45 million for munitions storage facilities along with $50 million for a new machine gun range that’s been strongly opposed by activists due to its proximity to cultural sites and a national wildlife refuge.
The U.S. has been planning to move thousands of Marines to Guam from Okinawa for more than a decade. Advocates say the plan will provide a needed economic boost for Guam’s military and tourism-based economy but ongoing military construction has been highly criticized for disturbing historic Chamorro sites.
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