Lawmakers on Thursday criticized President Donald Trump’s plan to want to divert $ 400 million from military construction projects in Puerto Rico to help pay for his long-promised wall along the southern border.
“The reuse of these funds will make Puerto Ricans less safe by reducing military readiness in the United States and diverting resources from the National Guard of Puerto Rico,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez, a New York Democrat, in a statement.
The $ 402 million is part of $ 3.6 billion in military construction money that the Department of Defense is diverting to its border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Half of the money is taken from national projects and the other half from international projects.
Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory UU. That has been repeatedly criticized by the president, it was the goal of the largest diversion of funds nationwide, despite his struggle for reconstruction after the catastrophic hurricane Maria.
Among the affected projects are the electrical substation and a National Guard preparation center.
“The reprogramming of these funds will not only make Puerto Rico less prepared in case of disasters, but it will probably harm the local economy by depriving island contractors of job creation opportunities,” Velázquez said, rating the measure. of “shameful.” “The president intends to steal money from an already impoverished island to finance his cruel persecution of immigrants,” he said.
Representative Jenniffer González-Colón, a non-voting member of the island in Congress and Republican, said that “Puerto Rico is an island jurisdiction that is based primarily on assets held on the ground. As we continue to evaluate the lessons learned during the 2017 hurricane season and the consequences it had on my constituents, we must allow military units on the island to have the resources they need, as they are the first line of defense after any natural or man-made disaster «.
Rep. Darren Soto, a Florida Democrat, told NBC News in a statement sent via email that Trump’s plans to postpone military construction in Puerto Rico and Florida show that “he is willing to compromise national security, harm our troops and derail disaster recovery, to finance its inefficient medieval border wall.