Skip to main content

tv   House Appropriations Hearing on Impact of Border Wall on Military...  CSPAN  February 28, 2019 8:01pm-10:09pm EST

8:01 pm
policies that ensure every voice is heard and every vote is counted. >> i am sad to say that our hour has come to a close. it is just amazing. thank you so much for your questions governor brown and thank you for your incredible leadership, for what you are doing not just for oregonians but leading the country in conversations with other governors over the weekend and thank you for being here. >> thank you all so very much.
8:02 pm
8:03 pm
>> i would like to call the hearing of the house of appropriations subcommittee veterans affairs to order. this morning we are holding a hearing on the presidents 2019 emergency declaration circumventing congress to build a border wall and its effect on military construction and readiness. we are here today because the president has decided his political agenda is apparently more important than our military readiness the present has decided to take $3 billion for military construction products projects, said they needed and that support the military and their families to build his wall without congressional approval, projects which he says didn't sound too important to me referring to himself.
8:04 pm
what we are witnessing is a president that poses a direct threat to our military families and american national security. first there is no border emergency. that is a fabrication. the administration's own statistics show crossings and apprehensions are at historic lows. furthermore 90% of all drugs entering the country come through legal points of entry. contrary to statements made by the president drug traffickers are not walking loads of narcotics through the desert and into the u.s. on foot. this declaration undermines u.s. national security and the needs of our men and women in uniform as well as his credibility and in fact the admiral responsible for the northern command said as much in testimony this week declaring that there is not an emergency on our southern border. the government shutdown the funding over this wall and congress reopened the government and negotiated the border wall issue which was a great rejected by a bicameral
8:05 pm
committee that chose not to include the $5.7 billion. in response to losing the president has chosen to use an emergency construction authority which has been used only 18 times since october 2001. in those cases only under rare and highly scrutinized circumstances has this been used for projects in the u.s. notably for security measures in december 2001 military installations had sensitive materials for weapons. the remaining uses of the authority have been for facilities in afghanistan, iraq, and a handful of other locations in the u.s. central command area of operations because we were at war. using section 2808 of the code like this simply put is stealing, stealing funds requested by dod and approved by congress and taken from military needs all to build his wall. the presidents emergency declaration is exclusive so he can bypass congress and not
8:06 pm
address a bona fide emergent the. the administration is attempting to misuse the flexibility provided by congress to fund construction projects that directly support the use of our armed forces in an emergency or declared war.'s plan is not to make a safer it is an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to build an unnecessary wall he said mexico would pay for. there will be real consequences for military readiness if we continue down this road. last year senior leaders testified before congress about a backlog of $116 billion of unfunded facility requirements and 32% of their facilities were in poor or failing condition. i had the opportunity to tour some of these facilities. let me repeat that 32% of dod facilities are in poor or failing condition, diverting appropriated funds will affect military training, readiness and quality of life for troops and their families.
8:07 pm
it proves petty politics are being put ahead of the readiness and well-being of our military and their families. it is using the military this time in support of the presidents misguided approach to immigration policy. invoking emergency military construction authority comes after he has previously unnecessarily deployed troops and equipment to the southern border. what is next? remember this is only a portion of an estimated $30 billion that the president ultimately wants to spend on the wall. does the administration plan to steal construction funding every year going forward? it is clear there is no national emergency only in manufactured crisis and no attempt to explain how the wall has anything to do with supporting u.s. military needs as the law intends. from the beginning the presidents of obsession has been based on misguided anti- immigrant fervor not u.s. national security. i oppose this dangerous gimmick and the majority of this house opposes and the american people
8:08 pm
are utterly opposed. putting our military families and troops in this situation is shameful and the president should be ashamed of himself for attempting this approach to getting his way, which apparently from the hearing i just came from is his mo on just about everything. with that said i would like to recognize my ranking number judge carter for his opening remarks. >> thank you madam chair i appreciate being recognized. thank you for holding this hearing and thank you to all of the witnesses appearing before the subcommittee. [ indiscernible - low volume ] of the national emergency declaration. i share the presidents commitment to securing the border, i have offered past dhs funding bills and probably voted for the fiscal year 2019 homeland security bill which among many other important things provided funding for the new barriers and personnel.
8:09 pm
i support my ranking member miss granger and agree that additional funding is needed to address the humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border. while i stand with the president on this important national security issue i will not do so at the expense of the soldiers and families at fort hood. i look forward to learning more about the procedures and processes that the administration will use in determining exactly how the border wall will be funded under a national emergency declaration. we have to solve the crisis at the southern border but not at the expense of those who have gravely served bravely served. i do believe there is a crisis and it is reported that 50,000 illegal crossings took place in january and it is anticipated 75,000 will cross in february and it is anticipated 100,000 will cross in march, to me that
8:10 pm
is a crisis. i yield. >> thank you judge carter. i would like to represent ranking member granger for her opening remarks. >> thank you. thank you chairwoman and the ranking member of the military construction subcommittee for holding this hearing today on the presidents 40 average border emergency declaration. i had the opportunity to travel to the southern border to see firsthand the situation we face. i agree with the president that we do have a crisis at the border that must be addressed both for the sake of the american people and those seeking entry. i am proud of the work my colleagues and i did to reach a bipartisan compromise on homeland security that concluded funding for sick african section of the border barrier. while this was a good down payment significant initial
8:11 pm
funding is still needed to secure our border and to address of the humanitarian and security crisis we face. the law allows the president to dedicate military construction funding for this crisis if he makes an emergency declaration which he has. although we have different opinions about the presidents decision i believe we have the ability and responsibility to find ways to work together going forward. as ranking member of this committee i worked with the white house and my colleagues to ensure any funds reallocated were done so in a way that it does not impact our military readiness. i also expect the department will continue to be transparent and provide information to us as plans are developed to implement the presidents plan to secure our border. all of the members of congress and witnesses here today have a vested interest in a strong national defense and care deeply about our country's future. in order to achieve this i believe we must also have a secure border. i am hoping in
8:12 pm
this hearing we can continue to have many conversations and work cooperatively to keep our nation secure. i know my friend mrs. lloyd i want to see the spirit of bipartisanship that allowed us to reach a compromise with our civic colleagues two weeks ago to continue during our time as chair and ranking member. i look forward to working with everyone on the subcommittee and the witnesses today. thank you. >> [ indiscernible - low volume ] thank you and i think we all concur in your gracious remarks. we have two panels this morning, one representing the office of the secretary of defense and the other with the installation assistant secretaries. this morning we have the honorable robert mcmahon assistant secretary of defense for sustainment and mr. robert sailors deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense integration and defense of port support.
8:13 pm
secretary mcmahon your full written testimony will be included in the record, please summarize your testimony in five minutes. you are recognized. >> thank you rep. debbie wasserman schultz , judge carter and ranking member granger, distinguished members of the subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to testify today, u.s. customs and border protection it is our mission to secure the southern border of the united states. as i begin i want to ensure you that no currently authorized to military construction projects will be canceled to fund military construction products projects supporting at the southern border. for there further some military construction projects may be deferred to fiscal year 2020
8:14 pm
presidents budget request will include a request for funding to replenish funding for these projects. february 15 2019 the president declared that a national emergency requiring use of the armed forces exists along the southern border and invoked title x of the united states code section 2808. section 2808 authorizes the acting secretary of defense to use unobligated military construction funds for military construction projects that support the use of the armed forces in connection with the national emergency. this authority can only be used on federal land under the jurisdiction of a military department. as the white house indicated as late as last evening the funding sources that the president made available for barrier construction quote will be used sequentially and as needed with the 1.3 seven $5 million used first then the
8:15 pm
three-point $1 billion from other statutory authorities and then the $3.6 billion for military construction unquote. at this time the acting secretary has not decided whether the use of this is necessary to inform his decision the acting secretary is requesting from the department of homeland security a list of proposed border barrier construction projects prioritized in order of effectiveness that could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of dod personnel supporting the border mission. dod is currently awaiting dhs's response to that request. in support of the acting secretary's consideration of section 2808 dod is conducting a deliberate process to identify military construction projects that could be used as
8:16 pm
funding sources. that is if the acting secretary determines the use of section 2808 authorities is necessary we will provide you the information on the affected projects as soon as it is available. in order to protect military readiness the projects that are most likely to be temporarily delayed include those that pose no or minimal operational readiness risks if deferred. secondly projects that were already scheduled to be awarded in the past six months of the fiscal year, third recapitalization projects of existing facilities that can be temporarily deferred for a period of months. again let me absolutely be clear, no currently authorized military construction projects will be canceled to fund projects under this section nor is the department considering any family housing projects as
8:17 pm
funding sources for section 2808. further the fiscal year 2020 budget will include a request for funds that could be used to carry out the already authorized to projects. this process is ongoing and i stand ready to execute the necessary actions once the decision has been made. in carrying out this missive mission i will evaluate resources necessary to meet these requirements while mitigating military readiness and considering ongoing and future operational commitments. i look forward to your questions. thank you madam chairman. >> thank you secretary mcmahon. i need to ask you to clarify what you said twice during your opening statement, you used the term currently authorized projects. all of our are unauthorized and
8:18 pm
that would mean what you're saying is none of the none obligated projects all of which are authorized requested by dod and adopted by congress, they would be off limits based on the way you have characterized your intentions? what do you mean? >> what i stated was that for all of the projects that have currently been appropriated and authorized, none of those projects will be canceled. some may be deferred and if they are deferred some of those projects funds for those will be included in the presidents budget for 2020. the intent is that there was implication there would be cancellation of projects condo projects would be canceled under this process. >> okay. i understand that we are dealing in verbal gymnastics here but the way that would occur in practice is that if
8:19 pm
you have like i said all of these projects are authorized. they have yet to have their funding obligated, meaning spending has not yet begun. that is about $21 billion in eligible projects. you are suggesting that $3.6 billion of that is what you would be targeting and i have questions about that in a moment. however if you are suggesting none of them will be canceled but perhaps deferred and then backfilled which is what you're saying by coming back to congress in 2020 and asking for this project to be replaced, essentially what you're doing is circumventing congress to get funding for the wall, which you could not get during the conference process. instead you came back to try to get us to replace that funding during the fiscal year 2020 appropriations cycle isn't that right? >> congresswoman the president has identified a national
8:20 pm
emergency -- >> excuse me i am asking you a direct question. i already laid out that we have a significant disagreement on whether there is truly a nationals emergency including that you have a significant disagreement with general terrence who is the north, commander who also publicly testified and i would like consent to enter this article into the record with the generals comments who also testified there is no crisis on the southern border. when i am asking you is that you testified just now that no currently authorized projects would be touched essentially, canceled to divert funding for the border wall -- >> that is correct. >> instead you say perhaps they might be deferred and then backfilled basically. you are saying if you come back to congress and fiscal year 2020 and ask for that funding
8:21 pm
to be replaced you are trying to essentially relitigate a battle you already lost during the conference process where a bicameral bipartisan agreement was reached that the president signed. aren't you just trying to get the funding for the wall by deferring the expenditures of those projects? spending that money on the wall and then asking for the money to be replaced later when you couldn't get that done during the conference process? >> congresswoman what we are attempting to do is execute the guidance we have received from the commander in chief. >> i am asking you impracticality and in practical application isn't that what you are doing? isn't that the result? >> what i think we are doing is executing the president his direction to us to be able to fund a portion of the border wall in fiscal year 19. >> you are fully knowing mr. secretary really. i mean i am not sure what kind of chumps you think my
8:22 pm
colleagues and i are but canceling, deferring, coming back to replace all leads to the same thing. you are taking money from vital projects that the military previously said was essential and spending that money on a wall, then asking for the money to be backfilled later in the next fiscal year when we already had that debate and the president his proposal was rejected and we had a bicameral agreements. there is nothing more clearer than that. i understand that is the presidents direction but his direction is as i have described. i am over time and with that i yield and recognize judge carter. >> thank you madam chairman.
8:23 pm
i just got a copy of this schedule, it's what the chairwoman was talking about and what general terrence said as it is not a military threats along the southern border. he goes on to say the threats to our nation from the southern border are not military in nature but are significant and deadly with the flow of illegal narcotics in the united states. it inflicts heavy tolls on our citizens and has clearly demonstrated by the 72,000 americans killed by drug overdoses in 2017. he goes on to say a secure border does not reduce threats, a secure border does reduce the threats to the low land.
8:24 pm
i see the any barrier in place to secure our nation does have some ramifications to our ability to defend against a military threat as well. right now there is not a specific military force from the south. i just wanted to point that out to clarify the conversation. i understand the department may not adhere to the cooperative traditions of the administration and congress, which have been developed over the past seven decades. these traditions provide flexibility and the use of appropriated funds ensuring congressional oversight. are you aware of the new president being set and does the department realize it could lose some or a lot of flexibility in spending appropriated funds? >> judge i was not in the room
8:25 pm
when those conversations were taking place but what i do know is that the president has identified it as a national security and he has declared a national emergency. he has asked us to move forward with execution of that. i would defer the larger question two the white house and to the as to whether or not that was part of the conversation. >> okay. fair enough. fiscal year 2019 homeland security bill provided for nearly one point for 1 to 4 in projects, it will take and this may be a homeland security question. why does the department need to take military construction funding now for projects that may not be ready for many years? do they plan to set aside funding for projects in future
8:26 pm
fiscal years? >> judge as you are aware the military construction dollars that we receive our five-year funds and as you know many of our projects are funded over multiple years and this is an effort to continue to accelerate the rate at which the wall or the barrier is currently being built and what we are doing is continuing to leverage construction that started in prior years as we continue to move forward. >> the department has indicated we will replenish the military construction funds used for border projects in fiscal year 2019 in the fiscal year 2020 budget. do you have a plan to provide a list of projects in the 2020 budget request? how would replenish funding work? >> to your first question as
8:27 pm
soon as the department first of all has identified what the available projects are we have provided you with some gross numbers in terms of unobligated military construction funds at this point in time. we will provide you a by project bistate listing of what those unobligated projects are. we hope to do that very soon and if the acting secretary of defense in conjunction with advice from the chairman of the joint chiefs identifies that there are appropriate projects that would fall under the 2808 authorities 2808 in sac if it is identified through that process answer to projects are identified that information will be made available to the congress. >> i am very proud of the fact that you are not going to [ indiscernible - low volume ] any fashion. >> that's right when you look
8:28 pm
at the criteria that i laid out in my earlier statement the intent is to do exactly that, it is to minimize the impact of any military construction funding that would be used and certainly not effect readiness. again there are no cancellations got this is simply a deferral of capability. spec i move my time and i look forward to getting this last words prepared. thank you. >> yes sir. >> thank you judge carter. >> thank you madam chair and thank you mr. secretary for being here with us today. just to drill down a little bit on the decisions that will be made here in your testimony you stated dod is conducting a deliberate process to identify projects that could be used as funding sources. i have a couple of questions and i will put them all out there. has osd developed criteria for determining whether a project is the verbal and if so can you
8:29 pm
share that criteria with the subcommittee? if not is it left to each service to select the projects they consider acceptable to delay? how are you counting for the incremental costs including operational readiness of deferred construction. there are four approved but not yet awarded projects at portsmouth naval shipyard which i represent. one of those is a critical component of the modernization plan that would allow all of its dry decks on the summary. if the project is deferred the follow along projects move to the right and the navy will have to juggle availability so how do you account for that? how will you use your office to make sure the selection of projects is not influenced by the politics by let's say choosing for those who voted to terminate the emergency declaration, we would hate to see politics intervene here in our military readiness and our
8:30 pm
ability to retrofit submarines. we are looking out for our soldiers and i am aware of no senior leader in the building military or civilian that would ever put at risk taking care of those individuals and our capability to fight for the role of politics. i have never seen it anytime i have been in the building and i would never expect to see it and i don't think it would be tolerated by anyone there. if i sound emotional on the issue i am. i am a proud of the approach we take to take care of those who serve our nation. >> with regards to your other questions first of all the criteria that i spelled out specifically goes to the fact
8:31 pm
that first of all we said that we want to ensure that we pose no or minimal impact on operations. in doing so we don't want to impact readiness by the projects we select so that would be the key criteria and as we walk through the other criteria every project we present to the congress we believe is important or we would not have asked for it. what there is within that is some relative importance and priority within that. what we want to do is understand for those who still have unobligated dollars is that we are minimizing the overall impact as we greet each and every one of those. with regards to your question on service choice the service has the best idea of what that looks like so we will defer to the secretaries and their assistant secretaries to make the assessment of what that
8:32 pm
looks like in terms of what are the best projects as well as to understand what that list of lease impacting projects are as we do for them for a short period of time. then to recognize their could be incremental costs and i would be happy to take back question for the record and come back to you and answer that in more detail. >> thank you for those answers and i appreciate your attempt to be thoughtful in the process and i always want you to know we value your service to the country and i really do appreciate your very thoughtful answer about making sure politics stays out of this. i am sorry to say many of us are more concerned about the commander in chief's inability to leave politics out of this but i greatly respect your answer and the work you do so thank you for that. >> yes ma'am. >> ms. granger. >> thank you for being here.
8:33 pm
i have a question and a request. on the question do you intend to transfer any military construction funding because these authorities are more flexible and what other dod sources have funding readily available that can be transferred into the counter drug? >> [ indiscernible - low volume ] i will be glad to do that. as you are familiar the department has and allows us to erect offenses, lighting and roads and currently we do have a request from dhs to provide support to them, there are certain circumstances that have to be met in order to do this. we have received the request,
8:34 pm
it is like the land where the barriers or fencing would go, it has to be declared a drug smuggling area which in the request it has been. i will get to the question about the money. we are looking at funding that could potentially be reprogrammed into the counter narcotics but no decisions on that specific funding. >> thank you. i will ask you as soon as you identify the lower priority military construction projects that will be laid into future years , would you please provide that information to this committee? >> yes ma'am. >> thank you. >> thank you. mr. bishop is going to go out of order because he has a committee he has to chair at 3:00 and also let the members know they just called votes and we will stand in recess after mr. bishop's questions and then
8:35 pm
everyone could just come straight back after this series. >> thank you madam chairman and i think my colleagues for allowing me to go out of turn. let me welcome secretary mcmahon and. it is good to see you again mr. secretary after your leaving air force base we appreciate you very much. i understand that in your capacity you have to answer to the commander in chief and i understand that the president declared an emergency, but it is considered judgment of a lot of people, particularly people who have a defense background and are familiar with the situation that this is an emergency over a crisis that does not exist. a bipartisan group of 60
8:36 pm
national security officials including former secretaries of states, defense secretaries, cia directors, ambassadors to the united nations issued a statement declaring there is no factual basis for justifying the presidents emergency declaration. furthermore it appears that instead of the presidents declaration actually steals billions of dollars from high- priority military construction projects that ensure our troops have the essential training, readiness and quality of life to keep america safe and ultimately that undermines our national security. now i know right now in the state of georgia some unobligated funds went to cyber
8:37 pm
instruction network which is $99 million. naval reserve training center at fort benning almost $14 million, which is pretty close to 113 million of projects, what you and your colleagues fought for and you are claiming was a top priority. i just want to understand how you will justify in terms of morale, for the troops who have seen these hard-fought projects come up to be funded, how you will justify the readiness and how you, and i know it is above your pay grade can condone the
8:38 pm
violation of the constitution, the separation of powers of article 1, that the constitution to uphold and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic , how can you justify that? >> congressman as always it is great to see a fellow georgian and thank you for the support you have given over the many years i served in the relationship and the support you continue to give i know the appreciate that. congressman as it was pointed out earlier there is a tremendous debate on this issue. i acknowledge that, i acknowledge also that the president has declared a national emergency and what he has asked me to do through the acting secretary of defense is to ensure we are as prepared as possible to execute in the direction we are going we are
8:39 pm
taking that approach and i think if i could speak for the three assistant secretaries who will follow the next panel all of them will tell you they continue to fight for the programs they believe in your we believe we have protected that requirement because of the fact that we are simply deferring for a short period of time until we get into 2020. the presidents budget request to share the information before the budget has been released is important enough i think to the administration to make sure that you know -- >> excuse me for a moment, the presidents budget request is not law therefore the 2019 budget is law. the presidents budget request has not and is not insured to be appropriated. fiscal year 19 has been appropriated. >> congressman you are correct and we look forward to advocating for what it is that we would push forward in the
8:40 pm
2020 appropriations to this committee. >> thank you and thank you mr. bishop. at this point the committee will stand in recess and we will reconvene immediately following so i will ask all members to come back directly to this hearing room so we can continue. we will do one round of questions with these witnesses that we will move to the second panel. the committee stands in recess.
8:41 pm
>> the meeting will come to order our apologies for our diversion to the floor. mr. hurd you have five minutes. >> thank you sir. gentlemen thank you for being
8:42 pm
here. if you don't mind i want to get a little parochial and i am sure you are all prepared for this. secretary your remarks your opening remarks you talked about the potential impact on projects unobligated and so i have a series of specific questions, for example air force base depending on what year it is in del rio texas it produces a number of pilots in the country. if it rains more than an inch the flatline got flooded and i know it looked like a bathtub if you haven't seen the pictures and the plane is moving around. because of the support of this committee we were able to address that in three phases. the first phase is ongoing but the second phase of this project that will prevent the flood line of one of our premier pilot facilities and the second is unobligated. is this the type of project that could potentially be impacted by 2808?
8:43 pm
>> congressman i don't want to speculate because i want to work with the services and specifically as we defined earlier the specific criteria we laid out in some cases there are projects that are absolutely essential and in some cases there are projects that could be delayed a month or two and without getting into specifics i would have to talk with -- >> that is neither a yes or a no as of right now? >> that is correct sir and as i said earlier we are not that far along yet because the acting secretary has yet to identify whether or not there are any examples of projects that we would have to find from the 2008 authorities. >> san antonio has one of the oldest military traffic control towers in the country from one of the first military flights that happened in my hometown of san antonio the air conditioning system is failing
8:44 pm
and as you know the great state of texas especially south texas in the summer it can be over 110 degrees on multiple days in the year. again this is one of the projects that has unobligated funding and based on your previous answer i am assuming this is a project that may or may not be impacted by 2808 is that correct? >> congressman that is correct. that is the analysis that we will go through here shortly. >> you also talked about how much, not all of the 2019 funds have been obligated is that correct? >> yes sir that is correct. >> there is $24 million in authorized construction projects at fort bliss and in el paso texas one of the largest army facilities or i think the largest facility in the united states. do we know if any of those authorized projects were obligated?
8:45 pm
>> congressman i would have to take that question for the record i don't have that in front of me. >> i appreciate that. the second question i would ask you to take for the record is if there is some of those $24 million in authorized construction projects at fort lazar unobligated could the i am assuming based on your answer to your previous questions that they could or could not be impact did by the emergency declaration of 2808? >> i cannot answer that question it is part of the analysis process we are still going through and it would depend upon what the secretary of the army in conjunction with his staff determined in terms of priorities if any of their dollars were to be used assuming the acting secretary said we were going to use 2008 authority. >> that is a good copy. i can't even imagine what it is like to manage 20 million acres and 500 installations and 500,000 buildings and more than $1 trillion worth of structures
8:46 pm
but it is because of folks like you, we have the greatest fighting force in the world and i know the difficult situation you are in and we appreciate your questions today. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes the full committee chair for five minutes. >> i think you to my friend mr. kasich, excuse me if i don't have a voice today. i want to thank you chairwoman rep. debbie wasserman schultz and for holding this hearing and welcome assistant secretary mcmahon and deputy assistant secretary. i am very sorry for missing your testimony but i want to make it clear in my judgment the presidents phony national emergency declaration and his decision to rob essential military construction funding provided by this committee in an act of congress are a direct assault on the
8:47 pm
constitution and it must not stand. my question is, funding appropriated by congress for the specific purpose of supporting our military and their families should be used as direct not for construction of a wall. the deputy assistant secretary why is building a border wall more important than supporting our military and their families? assistant secretary mcmahon this committee provided on time a substantial full-year military construction budget to the department of defense, why is the vast majority of more than $11 billion in military construction still unobligated?
8:48 pm
we can hear from the deputy assistant secretary and assistant secretary [ indiscernible - low volume ] in that order. thank you. >> the president has determined through the declaration of the national emergency that construction is essential along the border wall. the department of defense supports the commander in chief so that determination has been made and we have been provided guidance and direction. >> so you don't have a rationale as to why that is more important than supporting our military and families? you're just following direction from the commander in chief? i guess that is what you are told you must do is that correct? >> yes-man that is what the department of defense does yes ma'am. >> okay and assistant secretary mcmahon can you explain why is the vast majority of more than
8:49 pm
$11 billion military construction still unobligated? >> madam chairwoman as you know projects are done throughout the entire year so the fact that there is still five dollars available that have yet to be obligated were originally to have been obligated later in the year. this is a customary process. if you look back over the last four or five years there is a standard where those dollars are spread throughout the year is in my home state of new york , there is more than 190 million in military readiness projects at risk because of the president's actions.
8:50 pm
assistant secretary mcmahon other u.s. military academy at west point is planning to build a new 95 million center for cadets but without this new battlefield. >> as i indicated earlier, no projects are being canceled there are some projects deferred but the reality is at the end of the day were the can to the expertise of the respective services to identify if the acting secretary identifies that there's a requirement for 2808 funding
8:51 pm
using the authorities there and , then determine where they would come from in the prioritization's i indicated earlier. as opposed to being canceled they could be deferred? >> what i think i hear you saying it's that the president is all right with treating military readiness for the wall . >> no, congresswoman, as indicated earlier, when we look at the priorities we've established for what projects we would in fact utilize, if required to do so the first is that those who pose no or minimal operational readiness risk and that has been specifically identified as a look at the criteria . >> thank you . >> we see reports that indicate
8:52 pm
there's as much as $31 billion in unobligated military construction dollars over the previous five fiscal years. first of all, is that number actually? >> yes, congressman, the number we provided to the committee was around $21.6 million . >> okay so of these unobligated funds, can you walk us through some of the primary reasons the contract may not of been awarded for several fiscal years? >> what i'd like to do is take that to record because i don't want to speculate overall effect in some cases
8:53 pm
construction but it could've been delayed for a variety of reasons and planning could've gone for the. a contractor could be behind in schedule all of those are likely things that could've occurred at different times . >> so this is not an unusual occurrence with some of these obligated funds over a long period of time? >> part of the benefit of congress giving us five your authority on our military construction dollars is it to be able to absorb the type of issues i've just discussed . >> so if the delays from projects from previous fiscal years have not been considered to have a high operational risk associated with them, in that delay, why would this moment in time be different, really? >> >> i'm not quite sure i understood the question? >> in the past there are obligated funds for programs that have been delayed for whatever reason why would delaying some of the programs how is that any different than
8:54 pm
what happened over the past and a long period of time . >> that's why we structured the plans, and that's what we rely on the services to give us the identification of which projects because of natural happenstance . funded in 2019, the operational
8:55 pm
training facility was just awarded in phase 2 phase 2 were some have been expended, does that mean it will or will not be looked at on your list? . >> arlette congressman will be, as we look at which different projects we may defer, we're looking at specifically those that have unobligated dollars, so if the dollars are obligated it wouldn't be on the list . >> this is a list that dhs will provide to you in the future? expect the list that we come up with, the dhs input will then be given to the acting
8:56 pm
secretary who in conjunction with the chairman and drain chief will make the determination if any of this projects are appropriate to utilize 2808 funds and from there we will have an idea of what the list looks like and how many different projects we may have to defer . >> i'm also an appropriator on homeland security so when you get the list, if you could let us have that, so that we can look at the list as well . >> i will take that for action, i don't know if there are any qualifiers on that and i don't want to promise something i didn't have the authority to do but i will let you know if there's an issue with doing that . >> thank you mr. rutherford. i just want to point out that the projects that we appropriator not a slush fund
8:57 pm
they give the administration flexibility to spend anyway they wish. >> i'm trying to understand the process we went there to get here in the process that you proposed for us to pursue from here on forward. and i'm still confused about how you envision this proceeding from an appropriations process, monies were appropriated for specific purposes we would agree on that .
8:58 pm
>> now we have an emergency declaration for which you claim the authority to divert funds to other purposes, then what you're saying is whatever funds you took for those specific purposes under your claimed authority for the wall or other purposes you will come back with a request for further appropriation for those to be replaced right ? >> that is correct.
8:59 pm
>> congressman i won't presume what the congress will or will not do that but the plan we have at this time . >> from a responsible exercise of appropriating power, think about the analogy, let's say my kid comes to me and says i need a school book for my class, can you give me $25 and i give him the $25 and he goes out and spends it on a video game and then i find out about any comes to me and says, by the way i spent it on a video game but now can you give me 25 bucks for the school book, what do i do in that situation? >> i'm not sure that i have the right to answer that question for you . >> okay . >> let's talk about the authority to 808. do you claim any other authority whatsoever for being able to divert funds already appropriated by congress for specific purpose and by the way, signed by the president as part of the appropriations bills
9:00 pm
, the president now says he has the authority to spend it for some other purpose and you say the authority is 2808 i get you is or any other authority you claim that anybody claims in the administration for why you get to do that . >> the other authority was 284 which is outside the milk on authorities . >> outside milk on authorities that those are your two claims on authorities, as i want to zero in and be on the record of what the administration or what you believe the administration considers to be its authority to do what we obviously disagree with the doing. 284 is the only other authority sites 2808 . >> all right. what process led to this decision, was the department of
9:01 pm
defense consulted in advance by the white house, the president and whoever obviously made the decision and has the claimed authority to do it, was the department of defense asked in advance what this is going to do to military preparedness and readiness and to the overall ability? was the department of defense asked if it would make a difference if we defer the projects? what kind of consultation occurred in advance with the department of defense over this radon funds available? >> i don't know i wasn't part of that process . >> didn't happen at a higher level within dod? >> that is my presumption . >> i will pose you a rhetorical question, is there a concern
9:02 pm
within the department of defense at all over the deferral of these funds for these purposes . >> okay you assume we will be appropriate the funds but nonetheless, there's going to be a delay which in some cases is crucial i will give you a quick example, an entire military plan to realign force structure in the western pacific , okay now i am kuan and now you propose to divert funds from guam, which then are contributed to by japan so now japan is all nervous about the fact these may not happen on schedule, i believe this is the case but you can correct me here are some other time, we have a tent system in okinawa which depends on a very specific sequencing, is there a concern
9:03 pm
of the delay of that process or is it just a deferral to the commander-in-chief, period expect as i laid out earlier, the first of the criteria, poses no or minimal operational readiness impact and to your point, that's exactly the kind of criteria and analysis we are doing with the services >> if there is a root wire meant that we would take into consideration . >> i would close with this operation that when we appropriate money we expended ties and that's a power left to congress, so you are kind of taking other responsibilities away from us in making the judgment for us when we made that judgment on appropriations, but thank you. >> thank you all very much for being here. i would apologize if my questions are repetitive from previous questions. i'm sorry, i've been taking a
9:04 pm
lot of meetings in the hallway this afternoon. so, bear with me. it's my understanding that the funding for the family housing projects will be used towards funding the president's declaration of a national emergency, is that a true statement? >> that is correct. >> i want to reiterate because it's so important that we continue to provide the best available resources and quality of life for servicemembers and their families, it's also my understanding that they've not yet come to any of the services to ask for a list of unobligated funds the risk and impacts to write deferring specific construction projects, is that correct >> just to make sure that i communicate effectively, where we are as we've begun looking at with the unobligated dollars are lost the entire enterprise
9:05 pm
provided a rose list that takes us back to fiscal year 2015 of what those unobligated dollars are and in addition, where we are today is beginning to take the list and break it down by project and by state, but any allegation against the specific project is premature because the acting secretary is yet to even begin to identify if there are any list for projects that would meet the 208 authority expect i would ask like my colleague as well and i think were all interested, once this specific request is made that you will ensure that we will remain informed of the list and unobligated funding . >> our intent is to be fully transparent with that process congresswoman . >> and q . >> lastly, according to dod information from 2001 through
9:06 pm
2014 the department has funded a total of 18 projects under 2808 after the national emergencies act and the total number in effect is 32, is that also a true statement? >> yes congresswoman . >> by lights evident by the 32 national emergency declarations currently in place, the president has the authority to reallocate funds through the declaration of a national emergency to address a national crisis, as a member of the appropriations committee, i work with other members on the subcommittee and with the white house to ensure that funding is reallocated appropriately and doesn't come at the expense of our military readiness to and i appreciate again your time here today and willingness to answer questions. i'm sure we will have
9:07 pm
additional questions and i hope you will take those at the appropriate time with that, i yield back . >> thank you ms. roby. ms. cartwright expect thank you madam chair thank you to the witnesses being here today. i want to say at the outset for over 230 years our ring the power of the purse has been more than a professional courtesy it's been bedrock constitutional principle of our republic. of course you do recognize that this subcommittee and it senate counterparts have constitutionally assigned power of the purse for military construction spending and knowledge? >> yes, congressman i knowledge that exec i appreciated the phrase you just use secretary, our intent is to be fully transparent. i take it you mean that any time you deviate, pursuant to
9:08 pm
whatever authority from appropriations, approve spending for military construction, he would let us know, is that correct >> congressman, our intent on this issue would be to be transparent, there are, without going through the legal requirements of when we do and do not reap work, i don't want to answer openly on something that's an open-ended question. i apologize when i want to commit to something . >> i want to help you with that, it seems that part of that answer is it's not recall is that correct . >> i would defer to our expert on that, when it's necessary to be transparent . >> i want you to encourage you to use the expression i don't know, so many people in washington are afraid to say
9:09 pm
that and it's okay you can say i don't know if you don't . >> let me ask you this. will you keep the subcommittee informed regarding what you're gonna do now when you're gonna do it and how you're gonna do it or do you have to check with somebody ? >> i can commit to user that we will keep you informed on this issue with regards to 2808 authorities, where we are in the process and what comes next. >> do you have a schedule for keeping us informed? >> i do not because we haven't determined whether or not there will be any 2808 authorities even required because i indicated earlier, the first step is waiting for dhs to write a list, the assessment was on from there and sell any schedule that i gave you would be dependent upon factors not necessarily within our control . >> answer me this, if, and there's a lot of litigation nation already filed by various parties over this thing, if a federal court were to enter an order suspending 2808 authority
9:10 pm
or enjoining this plan in any way, can you tell us that you would obey the court order >> clearly, what i would do is look at our legal counsel to provide assistance and what actions we would take from their expect very good . >> very good . >> when you make decisions on what projects to delay or defer, would these be based on a set of criteria? >> yes, the criteria is part of the record . >> all right, we've heard the administration also plans to use $2.5 billion also encountered drug funds to pay for boardwalk construction and i also understand that the counter drug account is nearly depleted and that reprogramming of other funds would be necessary first
9:11 pm
to raise the proposed funds internally before they can be i want to say at the outset, under article 1 of the constitution, it is for us to decide how money is spent and it certainly was not the dream of the founding fathers that we would find out media account how the money is to be spent, nevertheless, the media reports say counter drug report, nearly depleted and the reprogramming of other funds would be necessary. if so, would the department request this reprogramming through the approach missions committee as is done in the past, or will it proceed on its own without congressional approval . >> congressman. it's customary for dod to share reprogramming documents with congress once they are approved by omb. i understanding is that dod needs omb's approval but
9:12 pm
approval by congress is not required by line of reprogramming . >> so it will pursue on its own without congressional approval . >> as i stated, dod will share the reprogramming with congress . >> all right, my time is up, madam chair, i yield back . >> can i ask to clarify mr. cartwright question because i think there may be a difference of opinion on the answer . >> i think it's committee practice, here counting -- talking about the counter drug section? that is a defense bill reprogramming action has to be approved by authorized and appropriators that in standard practice for a number of years . >> thank you . >> thank you mr. cartwright expect thank you madam chair,
9:13 pm
thank you i see you have ohio roots coming from toledo. yes or you are lucky because i'm not happy about his hearing back i will show some duck i love in this process. i'm flabbergasted with this whole enterprise, not only the constitutional issues that have been raised here today and since the national emergency declaration was made, when we got on the appropriations committee, the chairwoman and i, the first thing they said was either at the types of members of congress, democrats, republicans and appropriators. and we serve with some pretty long-standing members of this committee, who instilled into us the responsibility of being on this committee. it was tied directly to the constitution of the united states, it was tied to the founding documents, it was
9:14 pm
supported by fundamental principles this country was founded upon and here we are today without saying that these are the priorities, congress, house, senate, white house these are the priorities of the country and regardless how we feel about the southern border, there are so many emergencies in this country right now that if this becomes the standard, and i will say to my friends on the other side that if president obama president clinton did in anywhere near this people would be running around this town with the hair on fire and i'm just offended that it has come to this. i don't mind personal behaviors in politics or any of that but when you are getting to the fundamental execution of this government and we see usurping
9:15 pm
power of projects that the military has suggested that we have gone through, past house- senate through the appropriations process signed into law and here comes the president of the united states saying i will take that money right there from camp garfield or youngstown air reserve station and i'm in a put it to something that i couldn't convince everybody else, not to mention that the president and the republicans had control of the house, senate and white house for two years, and there was no national emergency then, did something dramatically change ? i don't think, and here we are. i'm not trying to give you too much left as in the chain of command but you are here and you need to take this message back and looking at $60 million and i'm thinking, this national air and space intelligence center, responsible for all
9:16 pm
source analysis on florence airspace, blisters missile forces that we go to these briefings, china's cleaning a clock with 5g, china's building islands in the south china sea, bell road initiative, make it in china, 20/25, bases in africa, that's an emergency and i have a big laundry list and i'm just appalled at what's happened that the politic are now driving the entire train here. i have a couple questions first i want to ask if you can commit to the committee that you won't be back next year the same national emergency, can you commit to us that you won't do that ? >> i cannot commit to you that that's not the case . >> that's what i'm afraid of so what am i here for? would we hear for i don't think
9:17 pm
anybody in this town is gonna think that this president is going to stop with this particular circumstance. i think democrats or republicans, they might not sit in front of the microphone but no one thinks he's gonna stop here and that's a problem. this 2808 list, does it add up to $3.6 billion? >> at this point in time there is no list because we've not yet validated that there is in fact a ironmen to utilize 2808 authorities relating as i indicated earlier for the department of homeland security to provide an input to the acting secretary at which time the request will be analyzed in and at that point in time, if there are valid requirements we would utilize the 2808 authorities at that point in time . >> the 3.6 billion is the money
9:18 pm
for the wall and do we need $3.6 billion that how that happened expect the president wired 8.1 billion in this fiscal year and the congress appropriated 1.4 billion and $600 million was available through forfeitures, up to 2.5 billion was identified and utilizing 284 and then we identified it and so will get it from milcon >> i'd like one additional question you can indulge me, if youngstown air reserve station has $8.8 million for security issue on their base and they are currently going out to bid right now and they are in the process of obligating these funds, do they have any idea they are on your list to mark? >> at this point in time every unobligated dollar within the department is in consideration, i would defer that question to
9:19 pm
my counterpart in the air force to figure out what specific guidance they've given . >> say don't know if the air force told local basis to hold and don't go out? >> i'm not aware that anyone in the department of defense has told any services to defer our hold at this point in time >> i yield back expect thank you comments ryan. before we conclude i cut myself off by minute so i will just ask one remaining question which is in reference to your commentary about reprogramming policy, to your knowledge has the dod ever acted on a reprogramming action without consent because our understanding is in practice that if an and authorizer are approved later, says no then
9:20 pm
dod has not reprogrammed the money, is that correct i don't know the answer to that . >> if you could get the answer to that because that understanding is this is the case . >> i urge you to take the message back that you heard today, which i think was pretty clearly across the board. these funds are not flexible, they were appropriated for specific projects to say nothing of the fact that in many of our in there is no national emergence and that were not misappropriating funds that you said were needed .
9:21 pm
>> on the decision that you're talking about, it's my understanding, since world war ii that it's been the policy of the defense department that congress will sign off on any of these. now, i have no knowledge whether it stopped anything but it's been the policy since world war ii and that's a long time. i was also told that there was a court case if congress didn't approve they could still go forward i don't know if that's true or not but i was told there was, do either of you have knowledge of that? >> let us take this to questions for record and provide an accurate answer . >> another that concerns me as i was told that money can only be spent on dod property, and,
9:22 pm
i don't know how you would treat federal property on the border between the united states and mexico, that federal property, san diego to el paso. when you get to texas it's not federal property. there is no federal land along the rio grande. that we gave you. . seriously, for the best case scenario, it would be put on arizona land. does that federal land have to be deeded or transferred to dod in order for dod money to be spent on that or is it just that it has to be on federal land? >> for 2808 authorities, four
9:23 pm
milcon under those authorities there are two qualifiers. it has to be federal land and under the jurisdiction of a military department . >> so you would have to be responsible? >> to be able to do military construction, the answer is yes, judge . >> this has been part of the conversation . >> then i got the right information, thank you . >> the department of justice will start the process of taking land to turn it over to dod . >> that would be in texas. >> it's my understanding that the land to be taken will be federal land in this could last several months with significant
9:24 pm
litigation. >> this is ben illuminating gentlemen, we appreciate you very much and appreciate your service to our nation and will make sure to hold you to the transparency to which you have committed. we suggest that you take back the admonitions that you heard from the coequal branch of government for which you've appeared today. thank you very much . >> for that we will transition to the witnesses for the second panel which is the civilian leadership for the pentagon for elation of energy and environment. with us this afternoon is the assistant secretary of the army for energy and environment, phyllis l beyer, assistant secretary of the navy for energy installations and environment and john henderson, assistant secretary of the air force for information, environment and energy.
9:25 pm
>> without objection, as you are making your way to your seats, we will enter your written statements into the record. welcome to all of you. beginning with secretary buehler, and assuming you are ready to start, if you can summarize your remarks in five- minute beginning with secretary buehler, your statement will be entered into the record as will the rest of yours, secretary? >> thank you very much chairwoman and distinguish members of the committee and
9:26 pm
ranking member carter. thank you for the opportunity to testify on the readiness of our installations with respect to our military construction program and the president's declaration of a national emergency on the southern border. on february 15, 2019, the president issued a proclamation 9844, declaring a national emergency on the southern border . in that document, he invoked u.s. code title 10 section 2808 , military construction, which authorizes the secretary of defense to determine whether order barriers are necessary to support the use of the armed services and to redirect unobligated dod milcon funding to construct border barriers if required. at present, the acting secretary of defense is considering whether and how to use this authority. on february
9:27 pm
18 he requested from the department of homeland security a privatized list of proposed border construction projects that would support the use of the armed forces in its efforts to assist customs and border protection in securing the southern border. the acting secretary of defense has not yet made any decision with respect to using section 2808 authority. no matter what actions are taken using the emergency authority, the army's number one priority continues to be readiness, which is completely aligned with the secretary of defense and the secretary of the army's effort to build and sustain war fighting capabilities. this priority is also consistent with national defense strategy objectives. as power projections platforms installations remain
9:28 pm
foundational readiness concerns for all koran emissions and we will continue to diligently and prudently carryout our goals of modernizing facilities and ensuring energy and water resilience, all while being good stewards of environmental resources. the army is also keenly aware of the obligation to provide safe, affordable housing to all men and women in uniform. the polity of our forces begin in the home with the safety of our soldiers and their families for peace of mind and mission focus. wherever our men and women are whether deployed or garrison, we work every day to ensure soldiers know their loved ones are safe. because high-quality housing is a readiness concern essential to our mission, i want to
9:29 pm
stress the department will not consider any family housing or barracks projects has funding sources for section 2808. the care of our soldiers and their families will always be of utmost importance and will remain a priority. whatever decision is made, i will take the utmost care that we meet our goal of readiness and will work with my peers to ensure the army effectively carries out potential commitments while maintaining adequate resources for other mission objectives. as this process develops i will carry out prescribed actions while also serving as an advocate for our soldiers in our mission. i look forward to answering any questions you may have . >> thank you secretary buehler . >> good afternoon chairwoman,
9:30 pm
ranking member carter and members of this fine committee, thank you for having us here today. it's an honor to sit before you with my fellow servicemembers. it supported the president's goal to protect our homeland and defense strategy, secretary spencer has focused the department of the navy's effort to restore military readiness and increase this by taking care of our people and improving processes and creating greater capabilities in every area of the navy and marine war fighting force. secretary spencer and i are fully dedicated and committed to ensuring all marines, sailors and their families to live in safe and secure housing that meet or exceed health and safety standards. our commitment stands firm to support our sailors dreams and their families. as a result of the president's national emergency deck ration made on february 15, 2019 this year, the department of defense
9:31 pm
is making a deliberative decision path that includes decisions by acting actor terry of defense mr. shanahan about whether and how to use section 2808 authority. until the acting secretary of defense makes his decision here at the department of the navy, i lack any definitive guidance understand the full potential impacts of what this would play out. as of today, the department has not asked the department of navy to redirect unobligated funds nor to provide an assessment of the risk and impact of differing specific construction projects in the expectation of using the 2808 authority. we have a few specifics to provide which is quite frustrating for you i'm sure. shared the department directing amy to engage in more deliberative planning, we will
9:32 pm
carefully assess the potential impacts. as you are aware, the process of getting a project nominated, competed and authorized for funding and appropriated that is deliberative, extensive and a very important process. they will manage each project that you appropriate very carefully and i want to assure you that we take that very seriously of taxpayers dollars to be spent in support of the navy and the marine corps's mission and i look forward to your questions. thank you . >> thank you for the opportunity to appear at this hearing today and represent our airmen.
9:33 pm
i've submitted my full written statement for the record detailing some of the significant efforts with air force installation environment and energy. on february 15, 2019 the president declared a national emergency exists at the southern border of the united states that requires the use of armed forces, making available certain emergency options. if the secretary of defense determines this is necessary , air force awarded the department of defense to identify the kind of funding that could be deferred in support of the use of armed forces in connection with the national emergency while minimizing impacts to the air force. on behalf of our airmen and their families, please accept our sincere and strong support for our air force. i look forward to your questions. thank you to all three of you. i just returned from the
9:34 pm
florida panhandle, where i toured the devastation i'm quite familiar with the impact that very strong hurricanes can have. i was living in south florida when hurricane andrew hit, wilma, katrina, and the list goes on. and the devastation that i witnessed in mexico and surrounding communities on the base, i've not seen since andrew and it took my breath away. 95% of the air force base was destroyed. one of the criteria that
9:35 pm
secretaries look at if a project is up for recapitalization to a date, fix or replace existing facilities. now tyndall falls under this criteria so, my concern is that we could potentially see a delay in the rebuilding of tyndall. i understand that technically the pool of funds eligible under the act are unobligated funds. are not all of the likely funding for rebuilding, this will come from supplemental, we will have to do milcon and so, given that much of tyndall will be recapitalized, to update, fix or replace existing facilities, is it possible even likely that this action, as a
9:36 pm
result of the president emergency declaration and his intention to repeatedly steal funding from projects that congress has already appropriated or will be likely means that tyndall would be further delayed, i share your concern with tyndall air force base and the community around it, we are working in partnership with the folks in the local communities and everyone who has assisted us in recovery at tyndall air force base. >> we can be assured that the recovery and reconstruction at tyndall air force base is an absolute priority as it is for the administration and were committed to getting that done. as discussed for, the initial estimate is about a $4.7 billion bill to go back and rebuild what is one of our key fighter bases, it's near a national treasures for ranges with unique airspace critical .
9:37 pm
>> can you get to my question? is there a likelihood or a possibility that as a result of the president emergency declaration and the funds that are potentially eligible to be shifted and taken to is it likely or even a possibility that tyndall's further rebuilding could be delayed? >> 42808 authority, right now we haven't put together they 1391s, so white now i don't see -- there are no funds there eligible to be removed . >> so it's not possible is what you are saying? there are no funds appropriated to update existing facilities? there's no possibility that tyndall rebuild will be to delayed with this?
9:38 pm
>> all the funds are being cash flowed out of tyndall out of fy19 onm funds and were pulling from other accounts because it's a priority and secondly because of the urgency because of the mission were trying to recover, it would be highly unlikely that we would divert funds from tyndall in support of 2808 authority . >> we will watch that very closely because the surrounding region, where tyndall is, is 60% of their economy is dependent on tyndall coming back up and running and being fully functional. i would like to ask each of you, do you believe that a border wall is more important than the projects which each of you and your departments have requested that at the time he
9:39 pm
deemed vital to our readiness and national security? >> madam chairman i support the president and the acting secretary of defense in whatever decision he might make and engage in a deliberate process that results from it . >> madame chairwoman, i would say that, there are many important things here we have competing authority and the department of the navy is going to put readiness first which is consistent with our considerations if asked to contribute to the 2808 authority , we are making decisions as best we can at the time asked . >> on monday the unobligated
9:40 pm
funds projects, those for which money has been set aside but not awarded, $60 million for a aircraft hangar in north carolina 1391 that accompanies this project stated, and this is the description of need that that you provide to us for the committee, that 1391 accompanied the project and stated that quote, there are no existing hangers that can support this aircraft, if the project is not funded the station will be unable to support the planned basing of f 35 squadrons. this project started in september 2016, so i ask you, what is more important, supporting the military and next-generation aircraft or a border wall? i know there are competing priorities but this is what you said was critical . >> it's an important project and if asked to make decisions on unobligated balances at that
9:41 pm
time, we are doing our very best to put readiness first . >> how would the loss of this project impact readiness at cherry point? >> i'm not that familiar with that level of detail . >> i get back. . >> 28 oa authorizes the secretary of defense in the event of a national emergency, to undertake military construction projects without regard to the provisions of law. generally this means the secretary would not be required to comply with national acts and criminal law.
9:42 pm
they should comply with these laws and what circumstances do you envision and why are you choosing not to comply with them? >> judge, as i understand the law and i am not in the capacity as a lawyer with the department of defense and i would ultimately defer to the department's legal counsel. >> but got my understanding is that other environmental requirements impair the department's ability to address a national emergency through military construction necessary to support use of the armed services then the quote without regard to section 2808 overrides the provisions of dnieper or other environmental
9:43 pm
requirements to the extent they conflict with the ability of the department of the national emergency . >> the words he used in the military authorities are a key issue and that, right? >> yes, sir . >> let me ask a question off the subject but it's all over. we recently announced attendance bill of rights of the army and the air force. this is because in our privatized housing, i would say we have not dealt well with the maintenance and repair of the existing housing. that may be on the developers, i don't know.
9:44 pm
please describe the steps you take to address the concern and have the navy and the marine corps made the decision for developing a tenants bill of rights? >> sir, i will go first. the services are working together on developing a tenants or residents bill of rights. we've been in discussions amongst ourselves as well as shared with the private companies they've been brought into the process and our goal is to be able to announce something publicly within the next few days and we are still in the drafting stages. . >> we are working together,
9:45 pm
judge carter we believe it's an important initiative, to set out the expectations of both the partner and the military service members and families to ensure we don't find ourselves in a situation that we found ourselves in recently. >> judge, i would confirm that got the three of us are meeting tomorrow on the same topic, this is about communicating better . >> thank you very much . >> finally, i have a question -- thank you, madam chair expect thank you, judge carter . >> mr. case? spent thank you.
9:46 pm
>> i agree that family housing is a high priority but i want to know how the decision was made because obviously you talk a big deal about prioritization than a process you are going through to prioritize these projects. and where you're going to have to make the cuts but some decision was made to take that category off the table. i agree with that but there are some decisions being made already as to how to prioritize the actual money allocated to the wall, and where was that decision made? >> my only knowledge comes from the fact that that was a
9:47 pm
statement made by the acting secretary of defense i was not privy to how he made that decision . >>, were any of you consulted as to how this will be carried out or what impact it would have on readiness, anywhere you know of back to the white house , this might have quite an impact on the military capabilities and readiness, he made a big deal and we agree with you, what consultation occurred in advance
9:48 pm
go out and figure out a way to do it was a direction given as to how to carry this out? >> i have no knowledge, i was not part of those conversations . >> i have nothing to add . >> i'm trying to sort this out
9:49 pm
how you're going through a matrix, of a process of analyzing if you have to get in funds at all. i heard a couple different fact , housing and impact our readiness. you've taken family housing off the table, one category is readiness, and another category is that some of these projects on midstream because they are multiyear projects, right? so you have projects that haven't started jet versus projects that are kind of happening along the way, longer- term projects. i think you also have, if i'm thinking this through, and ingredient where there are already negotiations going on,
9:50 pm
there's a bit process in place, no formal obligation but there are bidders who are spending time with an entire expectation they will get a bid versus people that and time. they have an expectation they are going to get a bid, if they have a low bid, versus people who have not even started that process yet. you have a lot of factors to consider in a very short period of time. is that the case for how you pull this off? >> once the acting secretary makes the decision we have to move very quickly. the army is attempting its own internal sort of category categorization and the staff
9:51 pm
and the army is working on that. it is a work in progress. >> thank you. i am sorry. my time is up so i better conclude this. the concern by my colleague mr. ryan, i think it is a real one, if you have people out there with no formal obligation yet in the bidding process, i think you owe them some notice right now >> mr. rutherford. thank you mr. case. >> thank you madam chair. case secretary harrison, i want to follow-up on the questioning earlier. you mentioned in response to one of her questions that there actually are no funds available for the 2808 at tyndale. you
9:52 pm
said that is because you were pulling other funds from other areas for the rebuilding of tyndall air force base. is that correct? >> that is correct. operations and maintenance funds. >> operations and maintenance funds. can you give the committee a list of where those are coming from? i am curious where those funds are coming from and what amounts. >> to date we have spent about $350 million in operations and maintenance funds at tyndale. those funds are primarily coming out of accounts and facilities. we pulled funds that were to be's and that the media, we pulled those forward.
9:53 pm
>> mr. secretary, i don't want to cut you short, but i did not expect you to have the whole list here today. but if you could provide something in writing on that, i would like to see where those dollars are coming from and what amounts they are. i did not know those shifts were taking place. also, i presume that there will be a request coming in the 2020 budget for substantial rebuilding of tyndall. correct? backup that is our plan. >> and, following backup on the question, how the decisions are being made -- i have information from -- it says that dod will
9:54 pm
link the funds from projects in the following order. projects that have not been awarded, our recapitalization projects, are awarded later in the fiscal year, and have minimal operational readiness risks. i heard that one earlier, but i had not heard these others before. is that a correct category of decision-making? >> i am sorry. which others? >> they are -- projects that have not been awarded, they are part of a recapitalization project -- >> i understand. that was part of mr. mcmahon's written statement. the criteria he put in there. that's the general guidance and considerations with regards with how we might consider future projects. i will speak for the air force only in this case, each of the services, we are going to make
9:55 pm
sure we are minimizing any impacts to readiness to that process. the general criteria that he has put out is a good method, a good framework for us to use. not every project fits that. there might be some redlines. there might be some stuff that we are in the point of the acquisition process that even though the funds are not obligated, we would never do anything that did not make sense along those lines. we are going to support the request of the secretary of defense to the best of our ability, while minimizing the impact. >> finally, on tyndall, i know there is currently in the ins underway. are you planning on running and eis for the new squadron? >> we are required to by law. absolutely. >> thank you. we don't have much time left, but naval installations are
9:56 pm
considering the impact of sea level rise. i am curious, can you give me a fundamental sketch of the navy's strategic plan for how to address sea level rise? >> i can, sir. it has been brought to the navy and marine corps's attention that we are dealing with some flooding and extreme wedding and sea level rise extreme weather and sea level rise. -- prepared a handbook for adaptations as we plan and design our facilities to include peers and buildings, where we cite those facilities. we are carefully taking into consideration any way the design would need to be modified or adopted so it would be more resilient and could withstand the effects of sea level rise, for example. >> our individual installations
9:57 pm
doing these studies on their own --? >> it is more part of our master planning. it is been incorporated into the process so we are thinking about it for the beginning with a more holistic approach. >> thank you very much for your time. >> thank you mr. rutherford. i think i am the only one remaining with questions. i just have a couple. mr. henderson, i think i just heard you say, i know with the money that is being shifted for tyndall, that means you are taking it away from other places that it would have been sent. and the expectation or hope is that congress would essentially pay that back. that can be done in an emergency supplemental. i just heard you say that the replacement funding for tyndall is going to come out of the hide of the air force in the fy 20 budget request.
9:58 pm
does that mean there will not be a supplemental emergency request to address hurricane michael and other disasters? >> i don't want to speak for the administration for what their plans are for submitting a disaster supplemental. not just for michael, but for all the other disasters out there. as we discussed earlier, since recovery at tyndale is a priority, we have been cash flowing that with facility funds, with operations and maintenance funds that are under our supervision. in some way shape or form, we will have to make up for those fy 19 funds. some of that may be out of hide or other air force programs. and then if there is not a supplemental funding, a disaster supplemental, that we have no other option other than to go back and ask for next year's fy 20 requirements.
9:59 pm
at that time the 1391s can start talking about that, to. >> >> if there is no supplemental, and you have to come out of your own fund in fy 20, how does that not nearly completely consume your -- request for fy 20? backup that is a great question. back at that is a great question. it's a complex problem. what we have done is we have identified the requirements. we are submitting those funding requirements to osd. we are going to work with them, and we will work with congress on the resources available to fully recover tyndall air force base. >> so basically, the first the answer to my first question of
10:00 pm
you was yes. because given that we have to repay the money that you are sending now, that we have fy 19 projects that are likely going to be taken, that ultimately will delay funding for true emergencies like rebuilding tyndall. there seems no question about that. right now that region is counting on an emergency supplemental. and it's not like there aren't other needs that the air force has. if all of this ends up getting top loaded in fy 20, then you are going to either impact how quickly we rebuild tyndall, or dramatically impact the rest of your -- priorities, which affects red readiness. doesn't that mean that this national emergency declaration by the president is going to affect military readiness? >> so, the -- what we are talking about here is a whole
10:01 pm
host of national security priorities for which there are not enough resources to go around. i see and speak for the air force national security priorities. i don't speak for how we adjudicate resources for the overall national security priorities. >> air force readiness, then? will it impact air force readiness, given everything we just discussed? >> yes, ma'am. my charges to ensure that we are supporting those national security priorities in a way that minimizes impacts to air force readiness. >> i will just note that i know you are doing your job and that you did not say no. by the fact that you did not say no, essentially you are saying yes. >> i would say if your answer is i don't know. this is an authority that has not been evoked yet. we have not gone through the
10:02 pm
readiness impacts with regards to the readiness at tyndale. there is one appropriated no con project that is there right now for a fire station. and then to even speak to whether any funding from that would be deferred, that would be something that we would put into the process, if it was even invoked. >> there is no supplemental. and we take all of that out of your hide in fy 20, and we have to repay the o nm money that you were sending now. how does that not affect air force military readiness? >> we submitted those requirements to dod on the auspice that there may be other resources within the government to put towards disaster recovery. >> i am not sure what that means , but i think we have made a point. >> i think our point here is
10:03 pm
the air force cannot afford to recover it tyndall inside of our current plans. i think i have to leave the committee with that. we are doing everything we can to keep that recovery on track and maintain the readiness objectives for the air force in fy 19. we are doing the best we can with that. >> please urge the white house to request an emergency supplemental, because it does not make sense to me that you cannot affect military readiness if you don't have one. thank you. i want to thank the indulgence of the committee today. think our witnesses. in conclusion, we really are facing some very significant challenges here presented by the president's emergency declaration. we are concluding here this afternoon. i want to remind members that our next meeting hearing is tomorrow every 28th
10:04 pm
in the capital. february 28 in the capital. the topic will be females access to the --. thank you.
10:05 pm
[ inaudible ]
10:06 pm
this weekend, will be live from the tucson festival of books on the grounds of the university of arizona. starting saturday at noon eastern featuring rick wilson with his book -- everything trump touches dies. and then shane bauer with his book. author lynn vincent with indianapolis, the true story of the worst see disaster in us prame naval history. u.s. naval history. and professor and author greg grandin with his book -- the end of myth: from the frontier to the border wall and the mind of them of america. on sunday our live coverage continues starting at 3:00 p.m. eastern. then, newsweek
10:07 pm
national political correspondent nina -- with her book -- golden handcuffs: the secret history of trump's women. watch our live coverage of the 11th annual tucson festival of books this weekend on book tv on c-span 2. sunday night on c-span q&a irene rivers on her book -- beyond the call, about three women who went beyond their regular duties to help women in afghanistan and further the mission. >> one of the things she shared with me was there was a time when she felt like there were men who would try to break her and test her and see if women could actually hack it. they had their weapons and they were caring it on this road barge.
10:08 pm
she pulled her women aside and said -- no matter what happens, don't you dare start crying, and we better keep up. that is exactly what happened. >> eileen rivers, sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 's q&a. canada's ambassador to the us prame, covered it government officials discussed the mexico- canada trade agreement. the chimes have sounded. time to get back to conversation. take your seats. once you get your food. you can eat and listen to us at the same time. that would be good. welcome back. and we've heard a lot this sorry to stop the music,


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on