Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano, announced Wednesday that more than $185 million of funds for two construction projects at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton will be included in the U.S. House of Representatives appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2020.
Those projects will create a consolidated information center to serve as headquarters for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, as well as create an area mess hall and consolidated warehouse.
Neither of the projects were among the projects the Department of Defense cited in March as being potentially on the chopping block to fund President Donald Trump's border wall.
"The readiness of Marines and Sailors at Camp Pendleton is critical to our national security, and one of my top priorities is ensuring that they have the resources they need to achieve their mission," Levin said in a statement. "The 70,000 military and civilian personnel at Camp Pendleton depend on upgrades to the base's facilities and infrastructure. I am glad to see House Appropriations fulfill my request for this much-needed funding, and I will continue to push for that funding throughout the appropriations process."
News of the 2020 appropriations comes on the heels of Levin's congressional advocacy for the projects in committees and during a time when there has been increased uncertainty around the future of many military construction projects in the current and coming fiscal years.
In February Trump declared a national emergency that enabled him to divert funds that had been allocated for military construction to fund the construction of his proposed border wall, something Congress refused to fund. Among those projects that could be cut or delayed were almost $1 billion in construction projects in greater San Diego, including more than $123 million worth of projects at Camp Pendleton.
Levin said that the projects at Camp Pendleton have since been exempted by the administration.
The intent of the president's plan was not that the projects would be eliminated outright but rather they'd take the funding and then go back to Congress during the next appropriations process and ask them to replace the funds, a concept that was criticized by Democrats as an effort to circumnavigate Congress's power over the purse.
The Pentagon still has not announced what military construction projects it will take $3.6 billion from, but last week the acting secretary of defense elected to divert additional funds from other programs including $251 million from a project to destroy lethal chemical agents and chemical munitions in compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and $604 million in funds from the Afghan Security Forces fund that helps fund the Afghan army and other security forces.
This article is written by Charles T. Clark from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.