Valley congressman says funding border wall steals military money

Local News

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper defended Trump's decision, saying it should not have been a surprise

VIENNA TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – President Donald Trump has diverted money in the defense department budget that could delay a new aircraft for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna.

Trump announced Thursday that he is taking $3.8 billion allocated for military aircraft programs and putting it toward the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Part of that money was $365 million for the new C-130J aircraft.

The local airbase was one of two bases in the running for those planes.

In a statement, Congressman Tim Ryan sent to First News, he said using the money for a border wall is stealing the money meant for the military.

He says he will continue to use his position on the Defense Appropriation’s Subcommittee to get funds for the new aircraft.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman also released the following statement on Friday:

I have long supported the president’s plan to better secure our border and help stop the flow of illegal drugs flowing into the U.S. from Mexico, and I’ve fought for additional funding for this purpose. However, I disagree with diverting DoD funds that have been authorized and appropriated by Congress for national defense priorities, which include the four new C-130Js I’m urging DoD to assign to the 910th Airlift Wing, based at Youngstown Air Reserve Station. Our military facilities and service members in Ohio and across the nation depend on this defense funding and I will continue to fight—as I have done in the past— to have those funds come to Ohio installations.”

Sen. Rob Portman

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper defended Trump’s decision, saying it should not have been a surprise.

“I’d say this much, border security is national security and national security is our mission. I think many NATO allies understand that as well. The action we took is legal under the law. I think that should be no surprise and I’ll just leave it at that for now,” said Esper.

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