In February, after the Democrat-controlled Congress allocated just $1.375 billion to President Donald Trump for “physical barriers” to be built along the U.S.-Mexico border, he declared a national emergency in order to divert other federal funds to construct his campaign promise of a southern border wall. The declaration will allow the president to shift $600 million from a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund used for law enforcement priorities, approximately $2.5 billion from the Defense Department’s anti-drug efforts, and $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Less than two weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 248-181 in favor of overriding Trump’s veto on a resolution rejecting the president’s declaration, 38 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed. Trump said he vetoed the “reckless resolution” because Congress’ action was a “vote to deny the crisis on the southern border” and was a “vote against reality.”
Given that Virginia has a large amount of military installations, including the world’s largest naval base, what does the Commonwealth stand to lose?
One report says the Commonwealth has $493 million in military projects approved by Congress, but not yet contracted by the Pentagon. Moreover, the White House and congressional aides have identified $130 million in future defense construction that is now at risk due to their funds being diverted to build the southern border wall.
The most at-risk projects include:
Norfolk/Portsmouth New Hazardous Materials Warehouse – $41 million; Arlington Cantonment Area Roads – $30 million; Portsmouth Ship Maintenance Facility – $26.1 million; Pentagon Exterior Infrastructure and Security Upgrades – $23.7 million; Langley-Eustis Air Force Base’s Cyber Ops Facility – $10 million.
Other potentially-impacted construction projects along with the those not yet contracted include:
Traffic and Parking Improvements – $28.7 million; Chilled Water Loop – $15.1 million; Security Updates – $13.2 million; North Village Fencing – $12.2 million; Metro Entrance Facility – $12.1 million; Access Control Point – $8.1 million; IT Facilities Infrastructure – $8.1 million.
Quantico: TBS Fire Station – $23.7 million; Ammunition Supply Point Upgrade Phase 2 – $13.1 million.
Fort Belvoir: Vehicle Maintenance Shop – $23 million; Humphreys Engineer Center Maintenance and Supply Facility – $20.2 million; Human Performance Training Center – $6.1 million; Ground Vehicle Fueling Facility – $4.5 million.
Joint Base Langley-Eustis: Air Force Targeting Center – $45 million; Aircraft Maintenance Instructional Building – $34 million; Fuel Systems Maintenance Dock – $14.2 million; Cyber Ops Facility – $10 million; Fuel Facility Replacement – $6.9 million; Ground Vehicle Fueling Facility Replacement – $5.8 million.
Dam Neck Annex: ISR Operations Facility Expansion – $29.2 million; Reserve Training Center Complex – $18.4 million; SOF Magazines – $8.9 million.
Portsmouth: Ships Maintenance Facility – $26.1 million; Hazardous Materials Warehouse – $22.5 million.
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall: Cantonment Area – $30 million.
Norfolk: Hazardous Materials Warehouse – $18.5 million.
Fort A.P. Hill: Training Campus – $11.7 million.
Across Virginia: Exterior Infrastructure and Security Improvements – $23.6 million.