Chairman Leahy Statement On President Biden’s Announcement On Funds Stolen By The Trump Administration

For years, President Trump raided taxpayer dollars from our military and military families to build a wall he promised the American people Mexico would pay for.  He let schools for military children deteriorate, and he stripped our National Guard of the resources and equipment they needed to effectively carry out their mission.  This smash-and-grab funding of bumper sticker policies left a backlog of unfunded projects vital to our national security that will take years to restore.  The construction scarred the landscape and damaged flood barrier systems that the people of the Rio Grande Valley rely on to protect their lives and their property. 

President Biden’s announcement today is a step toward filling the holes blown both in the Rio Grande Valley Levee and in our defense and military construction budgets.  But for some of these projects it is too late, and our investments are already lost. 

President Biden and I spent years together in the Senate, and I know he understands the importance of the balance of powers in our government and the power of the purse resting in Congress.  The Trump Administration’s theft of appropriated funds attempted to chip away at that delicate balance.  Today, President Biden is signaling the Congress can, and should, reassert its authority.

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