WASHINGTON — Pressed with the threat of military construction dollars being taken from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and other Ohio defense projects to pay for President Donald Trump’s much–coveted border wall, Rep. Jim Jordan says “it’s not my decision” as to what gets cut.
Jordan, an Urbana Republican interviewed Sunday on ABC’s “This Week," was reacting to Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency on the southern border — an emergency that allows Trump to dip into military construction and other accounts in order to pay for his wall. According to the Trump administration, $3.6 million of that money will come from unobligated military construction projects.
The administration has not announced what projects it will target to fund the wall. Last year, Congress approved $61 million for a new intelligence production complex at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which is not far from Jordan’s district.
Jordan, however, seemed unfazed at the prospect of the air base near Dayton or other Ohio projects being affected, indicating that the border issue outranks the state’s military construction needs.
“It’s not my decision,” he said. “It’s going to be a decision by those people in the military and the administration and the president of the United States. What I do know is what I’ve said: This is an emergency, this is a crisis.”
Jordan criticized his fellow Republicans for not passing the requested $5 billion for a border wall when they had the majority of both the House and the Senate during the first two years of Trump's presidency. The standoff between House Democrats and Trump spurred the longest partial government shutdown in American history earlier this year.
He said many of the Republicans who did not fight for money for the wall are the same ones expressing concern about Trump’s executive order declaring an emergency on the southern border.
“I think it's kind of interesting, those same Republicans who were against fighting for it back then are the same ones who are criticizing the president now for his executive order,” he said.
Pressed by host Martha Raddatz, Jordan said he could not think of another example of a time when a U.S. president asked for something that Congress rejected and then went ahead and did it anyway.
“This wasn't a rejection because there was some money for the wall in this bill,” Jordan said, noting that Trump said the problem was so grave that he decided to allocate more.
“The point is, there is money that he can use that doesn’t require an executive order. He’s going to use that then he’s also going to do the emergency declaration. It’ll go to court … and we’ll see what the court says.”