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Congressman Brown: Our Priority Must Be National Security, Not President Trump’s Political Interests

Washington, February 26, 2020
His actions are yet another reckless abuse of power, another broken promise to our troops and their families and another example of this president putting his own political gain ahead of this country’s national security.

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown, Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee and 30-year Army veteran, released the following statement ahead of testimony by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley:

“The Chairman, Ranking Member and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee agree that the Trump Administration’s reprogramming of military funds for critical equipment is unconstitutional and runs counter to our national security interests. I championed the C-130J program. President Trump’s proposed funding cuts threaten our troops’ ability to accomplish their missions at home and abroad, by depriving our armed services of the most modern military tactical transport today.

With Maryland’s Guard scheduled to transition to C-130s in the future, these cuts endanger that transition and our efforts to foster flying and maintenance talent in our local communities. In addition to cuts to the C-130J program, the reprogrammed funds to F-35s, P-8s and other critical equipment damages our ability to engage in great power competition. These are programs with a proven track-record, that would meaningfully improve our military’s combat readiness. 

Contrast these programs with President Trump’s border wall which has been shown in recent days to be ineffective, structurally deficient and prohibitively expensive. President Trump has twice taken funding from military construction projects, including the development of a new child care center on Joint Andrews Air Force Base, to pay for a wall he promised voters would be paid for by Mexico. His actions are yet another reckless abuse of power, another broken promise to our troops and their families and another example of this president putting his own political gain ahead of this country’s national security. My colleagues and I must work to limit the president’s ability to misuse funds for programs critical to the safety of our troops and country.”

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