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Senator Tester Fights Back on Trump’s Attempts to Gut Malmstrom AFB Funding for Illegal Emergency Declaration

Montana’s Senator Jon Tester has been waging glorious battle against President Trump’s illegal emergency declaration and a court signaled with a ruling Friday that Trump’s diversion of federal funds without congressional approval was illegal and Senator Tester was right all along.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam…said President Trump’s plans to divert federal money to build a border wall, absent appropriations from Congress, exceeded the executive’s authority…blocking Trump administration officials from moving forward on construction projects with funds that Congress hadn’t approved.

Senator Tester has been fighting tirelessly since the illegal declaration was announced to ensure that Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls does not have funds raided for critical construction projects to fund this fools’ errand that our President will do anything, legal or illegal, to continue.

In a statement from March 19th Senator Tester’s office stated:

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today slammed a Trump Administration proposal that could take money from Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard (MANG) to pay for a wall on the southern border using the President’s National Emergency Declaration that Congress rejected on a bipartisan basis last week.

The Pentagon released a document this week of U.S. military construction projects that the White House could redirect funds from to build a border wall.  The Missile Maintenance Facility at Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard’s C-130 Aircraft Apron are both on the list.

Senator Tester stated:

“The President’s dangerous proposal to take money away from our troops to build a wall undermines the missions at Malmstrom and MANG, I’ve fought alongside our military leaders for years to secure these investments for Montana, and I won’t stand by while our state’s critical national security resources get ransacked by the President.”

In a March 10th statement Tester’s office stated:

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today slammed the Trump Administration’s plan to transfer $1.5 billion from the Department of Defense funds used for disaster relief and other readiness functions to pay for a wall on the southwest border

Senator Tester and his fellow Democratic Defense and Military Construction Appropriators wrote:

“We have concerns that this reprogramming comes at the expense of the readiness of the Armed Forces. Last week, the Secretary of the Air Force announced that cleanup operations at Tyndall Air Force Base were being impacted by a shortfall in funding.  We are dismayed that the Department has chosen to prioritize a political campaign promise over the disaster relief needs of our service members, given the finite reprogramming authority available. We remind you that we continue to work diligently on a supplemental appropriations bill that will provide relief to all Americans impacted by natural disasters, despite the fact that the President of the United States has requested no emergency funding to address the current needs for hurricane and flood relief.”

In an April 10th statement from Senator Tester’s office:

Tester is taking issue with the White House’s proposal to take $3.6 billion from military construction accounts to pay for a border wall.  The $3.6 billion could force existing projects to be delayed—including the Weapons Storage Facility at Malmstrom.

The Pentagon released a document of U.S. military construction projects that the White House could redirect funds from to build a border wall. The Missile Maintenance Facility at Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard’s C-130 Aircraft Apron are both on the list.

 Senator Tester stated

“I have been down to the southern border and I have been to Malmstrom Air Force Base, what is more important that weapons storage?  Do what you can do to push back and ensure these projects can move forward.”

The funds that Trump is attempting to steal from Malmstrom are still at risk, as this ruling involved another set of funds, so I applaud Senator Tester for his continued work fighting for Montanans, Montana jobs, critical infrastructure upgrades and fighting against the narrative tools of a dictator and his propagandists, Steve Bannon and Steven Miller.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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  • Even though Trump mightily wanted Montana’s vote–stopping here what, 4 times? during the last campaign season–all his policies seem to hurt Montana. Tariffs that hurt our farmers, manufacturers and exporters of timber and other raw materials. Shutting down the Anaconda Job Corps Center. Stealing funds needed for Maelstrom. Gutting clean water and air quality standards. When will our voters wise up? Trump, for all his babbling about having “more records than Elton John,” hasn’t done a damn thing for this state.

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