New border wall plan could cut funds to military bases including NAS Lemoore, Fresno's 144th Fighter Wing

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In a 20 page document sent to Congress, the Pentagon lists the military construction projects that could be on the chopping block with the president's decision to declare a National Emergency and repurpose military construction funds.

$13 billion of projects worldwide could be redirected to funding the border wall.

"We work hard to get that money in the budget and now to have it spent for a purpose that was not intended is I think constitutionally incorrect," said Representative Jim Costa (D-Fresno).

The pool of potential military construction projects includes a naval operational support center at NAS Lemoore, and fuel storage and distribution facilities at Fresno Yosemite International airport home of the 144th Fighter Wing.

Costa told Action News by phone that he opposes the attempt to divert funds.

"For the president to unilaterally take spending money for our common defense, to spend it for a wall that everyone knows is a political statement and Mexico was going to pay for it, is I think clearly inappropriate," he said.

He adds he fears Fresno's 144th Fighter Wing will be on the losing end.

"We've been trying to make sure we give all the necessary support in terms of the 144th so they can pursue their mission of protecting our skies," Costa said.

Both NAS Lemoore and Fresno's 144th Fighter Wing deferred any comment to the Office of the Secretary of Defense that released a statement that reads in part.

"We can confirm the list merely highlights projects that haven't been awarded as of Dec. 31, 2018, and does not foreshadow a loss of funding. Projects scheduled to be awarded prior to Sept. 30, 2019, are exempted, as are those related to military dormitories or barracks."

Decisions have not been made concerning which border barrier projects will be funded.
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