Maloney: funding shift for border wall could endanger West Point projects

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney warned Monday that funding for four capital projects at the U.S. Military Academy could be at risk if President Trump declares an emergency and orders the military to build the Mexican border wall that he’s been trying to get Congress to fund.

Maloney, a Cold Spring Democrat who represents West Point and serves on its board of visitors, said an emergency declaration would allow the president to tap the military construction budget, which includes funding Congress has appropriated for specific projects. West Point has four plans on that list that would be vulnerable because no building contracts have been issued yet: a $95 million engineering center; a $22 million cemetery expansion; a $70 million sewage treatment plant; and a $65 million parking garage.

“Congress has the power of the purse, and we make the calls on where money is going,” Maloney said in a statement. “It would be incredibly irresponsible of the president to exceed his authority and raid other funding which was set aside by Congress because of a contrived national emergency.”

A funding diversion wouldn’t affect the ongoing barracks construction at West Point because four barracks already are done and Congress hasn’t appropriated funding for the other five, Maloney said.

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