NORTH CAROLINA -- The president’s national emergency declaration could jeopardize construction projects at military bases across North Carolina.
- President Donald Trump is calling for diverting as much as $3.6 billion away from military construction.
- In the Tar Heel state, potentially $190 million currently assigned to projects on North Carolina bases could be at risk.
- Sixteen states are suing the president, arguing he is overstepping the constitution. North Carolina is not among those states.
As part of his plan to pay for his long-promised border wall, President Donald Trump is calling for diverting as much as $3.6 billion away from military construction.
In the Tar Heel state, potentially $190 million currently assigned to projects on North Carolina bases could be at risk, according to a list compiled by Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee.
The list of possibly vulnerable funding includes:
- $30+ million for new and replacement Special Operations Forces training facilities at Fort Bragg
- $60 million for an aircraft maintenance hangar at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
- $33 million for a replacement clinic facility at Marine Corps Air Station New River
Even before the president first signed the emergency order, North Carolina Congressman Richard Hudson, R-8th District, started sounding the alarm. In early February, he signed onto a letter to the President, urging him to avoid taking money from military projects.
“I’ve expressed to the president, if he has to do [declare an emergency], don't do it at the expense of military construction at Fort Bragg,” Hudson said in an interview on February 5.
However, the president had other plans, announcing his intention to dip into potentially billions from the military construction budget to pay for the wall he promised Mexico would pay for.
The White House says he will only lean on military construction dollars after first using funding from the U.S. Treasury and anti-drug programs.
A senior Trump administration official said so far, they do not have a list of military construction projects that could be affected by the emergency declaration. However, that official said they are focusing on projects that would not harm the “lethality or readiness” of the armed forces.
Asked for reaction to the Democrats’ list of potentially at-risk projects, a spokesperson for Republican Sen. Thom Tillis wrote, “He has concerns about any potential cuts to our state’s military construction projects as all of these projects aim to improve the training and readiness for the brave men and women who serve our nation.”
Tillis is on the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he has worked to secure a number of military construction projects for North Carolina’s bases, his spokesperson said.
The president’s emergency declaration is already facing court challenges. Sixteen states are suing the president, arguing he is overstepping the constitution.
North Carolina is not among those states.
In a statement, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said, “I have serious concerns about the legality of President Trump’s emergency declaration. We are reviewing the order, and in particular any effects on North Carolina military installations. We will not hesitate to take action if we conclude it is necessary.”