Today King Donald declared a national emergency so he could hijack $3.6 billion in appropriated military construction funds as part of a $6.5 billion kitty of federal money that he plans to redirect to build some 200 miles of wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The action, which will be challenged in Congress and the courts, follows a report that rental housing provided to military families on bases across the nation is decrepit, filthy, rat and black mold infested and poses a health hazard to the service men and women, and their families, whom Trump claims to so strongly support.
Trump declared the national emergency as he signed a spending bill from Congress that allocated $1.375 billion for the President to build 55 miles of new fencing. The additional executive actions would redirect more than $6 billion in federal funds to build more miles of border barriers, bringing total funding for the wall to nearly $8 billion.
"We don't control our own border," Trump declared. "We're going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border and we're going to do it -- one way or the other we have to do it."
Never mind that there is no "emergency," such as those that have resulted in similar declarations in the past. Never mind that the humanitarian "emergency" declared by King Donald is one of his own making, separating little children from their parents and putting people in cages, resulting in at least two children meeting their deaths.
Trump once again claimed that "tremendous amounts of drugs" are crossing the southern border into the US, even though most of those drugs come through ports of entry -- a fact that has been clearly documented.
And, he repeated claims that El Paso, TX, is safer because of border fencing built there in 2008, despite statistics showing the city had already become safer a decade before and violent crime rates did not decline as a result of the new barrier -- a fact that was publicly reiterated by local officials.
The Military Housing Crisis
While the battle over his emergency declaration eventually will be settled in Congress or in the courts, funds that could be used to improve living conditions for our military personnel and their families will not be available.
According to Stars and Stripes, the newspaper that serves American military personnel, an armed services advisory organization issued a report Wednesday stating that military housing is decrepit, dangerous and inescapable. The report painted a picture of slum-like conditions, including black mold, lead, infestations of vermin, flooding, radon and faulty wiring.
Years ago the Department of Defense decided to privatize most housing on its bases, an action that apparently has led to this long decay. And while the military construction money that Trump is hijacking for his wall was not specifically designated for housing, presumably it could be used to provide relief if DOD chose to do so.
So here we have a situation where Trump takes action to satisfy his own ego, his whims, his right wing political base, at the expense of the Constitution of the United States (which reserves the power of the purse to Congress) and, perhaps, at the expense of our service men and women who are risking their lives in defense of our nation.