tv House Appropriations Hearing on Impact of Border Wall on Military... CSPAN March 1, 2019 4:20pm-5:48pm EST
>> we will come to order. apologies to our witnesses. mr. hurd, you have five minutes -- five minutes. >> mr. secretary, and you remarks he talked about the potential impact on projects that are unobligated. i have a series of specific questions. is,rpinning lake erie it tokyo, texas produces more pilots in the country. if it rains more than an inch the flatline got flooded and i know you have seen the picture that looked like a bathtub. because of the support of this
committee we were able to address that in three phases. the second phase of this --inage project that will from being flooded. the second phase is unobligated. is this the type of project to be intentionally impacted by 2808? >> this pacific criteria we laid out, in some cases their project that are absolutely essential in their projects that could be delayed a month or two and without getting into specifics i would have to talk to the service on a specific project. >> that is neither a yes or a no as of right now? >> that is correct, sir. as i said earlier in my statement. the acting secretary is yet to identify whether or not there are examples of projects we would have to fund 28 elite
authorities. .- 2808 >> 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 and as you know the great state of texas especially south texas in the summer it can be over 110 degrees on multiple days of the year. again this is one of the , projects that has unobligated funds 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? >> correspond, that is correct. that is the analysis that we will go through shortly. >> you also talked about how 2019-- not all of the fy thoughts of an 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 army facility in the united states. do we know if any of those $24 million in authorized construction projects were actually obligated? >> i don't have a front of me. is if second question there is some of those $24 million in authorized construction projects at fort bliss are unobligated, i'm assuming based on your answer to the previous questions, that they could or could not be impacted by the emerging declaration of $28 million? >> 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 -- 2808 authority. >> i can't imagine what it is manage more than $1 trillion in structures. it is because of folks like you we the greatest fighting force thehe world that i know difficult situation work are in and i appreciate your questions today. .> thank you thank you to my friend, mr. kasich, exceeding i don't 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 president's phony national emergency declaration and his decision to rob essential military construction funding provided by this committee in an -- and enacted by congress are a direct assault on the 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. deputy assistant secretary, why is building a border wall more important than supporting our military and their families? and 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? we can hear from the deputy assistant secretary and assistant secretary mcmahon in that order. thank you. the president has determined through the declaration of the national emergency that construction is essential along the border will. 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 he must do it is that correct? >> yes ma'am, that is what the department of defense does. assistant secretary mcmahon, and you explain why the vast majority of more than $11 billion still an obligated? >> madam chairwoman, as you know projects are done throughout the entire year so the fact that -- 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 there is a standard where those four or five years, dollars are spread to make sure the planning is done fully before you begin executing dollars on the actual construction. >> i am trying to understand.
if the president was to use these dollars to build a wall, that could take away from dollars that would be used later on in the year, is that correct? those dollarses may be deferred until 2020. >> less important than the wall, i guess. someone made a decision. >> all of our projects are important. >> not as important as the wall if they can be directed away. >> in response to the president's identification of this as a national urgency, the answer is yes, chairwoman, in some cases those, dollars although important, face a higher priority. >> ok. let me ask you a question about west point, which 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. assistant secretary mcmahon, the u.s. military academy at west point is planning to build a new $95 billion engineering center for their cadets. the president has threatened those plans. without this new engineering center what will be done to ensure our young leaders are properly educated to fight on the battlefield where complex technology is rapidly increasing. >> what i would tell you as i indicated earlier no projects , are being canceled. there are some projects deferred but the reality is at the end of the day we are looking to the expertise of the respective services to identify if the
the acting secretary identifies that there's a requirement for 2808 funding and using the authorities therein to determine whether those dollars would come from in the prioritizations i indicated earlier. those are being deferred as opposed to being canceled. >> i want to clarify what i think i hear you saying is that the president is all right with trading military readiness for an unnecessary border 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 or readiness risks. that has been specifically identified as a look at the criteria. >> thank you.
>> [indiscernible] we have seen reports that indicate there's as much as $31 -- in unobligated military $21 billion construction dollars over the previous five fiscal years. first of all, is that number accurate? >> yes, congressman. the number was around $21.6 billion. >> can you walk us through some of the primary reasons a contract may not have been awarded for several fiscal years? what i would like to do is take that to record because i don't want to speculate overall -- on specific cases. >> just overall. >> in some cases construction
could have been delayed for a variety of different reasons to planning could have gone poorly. a contractor could be behind in schedule. all of those are likely things that have 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 for military construction dollars is exactly to be able to absorb the type of issues i have 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 from what has occurred in the past over a long period of time? >> that is why we have structured our plans the way we have. not to cancel but this is a different projects. in some cases they would naturally differ as we ran into those issues. that is why we are relying on the services to give us get indication of which projects habitable impact because of natural happenstance. dod laid down these programs the requires infrastructure. as happened with the combat ship. that are two facilities were prepared at mayport, naval station mayport. a support facility.
operational training facility and a support facility are both 2010 29th -- funded in 2019. the operational training facility was just awarded in phase 2. were some funds of an extended of the upper gated funds, does that mean it will are will not be looked at on your list? >> our list congressman will be, as we look at which different projects we may defer. we're looking at specifically those that have unobligated so if the dollars are obligated dollars. , it would not be on our list. >> the list you have finally is a list that dhs will provide to you in the future? expect the list that we -- -- the dhsand put
input will then be given to the acting secretary who in conjunction with the chairman of the joint chiefs 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 am also an appropriator on homeland security. when you get that list, if you could let us have that so we can look at that 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. >> ok. i yield back. >> thank you mr. rutherford.
i just want to point out that the projects that we appropriator not a slush fund, that give the administration flexibility to spend anyway they wish. we are pretty diligent about not appropriating funds more than to be spent in a fiscal year. i strongly disagree with your characterization of the administration's likability and spending those funds. >> i want to associate myself with the comments of the subcommittee chair as city legitimacy of the emergency declaration. going beyond that, 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. i'm still confused about how you envision this proceeding from an appropriations process. if i understand you correctly
monies were appropriated for , specific purposes, we agree on that -- i'm sorry. >> yes, commerce and. -- congressman. >> what you are saying is that whatever funds you took from this specific purposes and used under your claim to authority for the wall or other purposes of the border, when you come back with a request for a further appropriation for this to be replaced? >> that is correct. >> that is the congress's decision? >> that is what it is included in the president's budget request for 2020. >> the entire expectation of this exercise is that congress actually will appropriate those funds all over again? >> i will presume what the
congress will or will not do. that is the plane we have at this time, yes or. >> that puts us in a real dilemma from a responsible exercise of independent appropriating power. let's say my kid comes to me and says i have the school book i really need for my class. can you give me $25? i give him the $25 and he goes out and spends it on a video game. 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 $.5 for the school book? what do i do in that situation? >> i'm not sure i have the right to answer that for you. >> the you claim any other authority whatsoever for being able to divert these funds already appropriated by congress for a specific purpose, and by
the way signed by the president, as part of the appropriations bills? the president now says he has the authority to take that money and spend it for some other purpose. you say the authority is 2808. is there any other authority you claim, that anybody claims of the administration for when you get to do that? authority for specifically on 2808, the other authority we're using is we asked -- that we discussed previously was 284, outside the authorities. >> those are your two claims to authority? i want to zero in. i wanted to be on the record with the administration or when you believe the administration considers to be is authority to do what we obviously disagree with them doing. 284 is the only other authority besides 2808.
>> what process led to this decision? was the department of defense consulted by the white house, the president -- the president made the decision. was the department of defense asked in advance. what was is going to do to military readiness, to our overall ability? was the department of defense asked is a going to make any difference if we us he do for these projects from one to two years or longer? what kind of consultation occurred in the department of defense over this, you know, raid on funds already available and appropriated for milcon? >> congressman, i don't know. i was not part of that process. happened at aly higher level. that would be my presumption. >> if you're willing to answer
it or i will point you a rhetorical question. is there concern over the deferral of the use of these funds for these purposes? you are assuming we will re-appropriate those funds. i have given you my analogy. nonetheless, there will be a delay. which in some cases is crucial and i will give you a quick example. an entire military plan to basically realign for structure in the western pacific. aen outlook, guam -- ok now awa, guam.
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 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 your and to your point, that's exactly the kind of criteria and analysis we are doing within the services, that if there is a requirement that we would take into consideration. >> when we appropriated funds we prioritize the expenditures of monies, of power also reserved to congress. are kind of taking some of our other responsibilities away from us and making that judgment for us when we have made a judgment on appropriations. thank you. >> miss robie? >> thank you all very much for you here. i will go ahead and apologize.
my questions are repetitive from previous questions. i'm sorry. i have been taking a lot of meetings in the hallway this afternoon. just bear with me. it is my understanding that no funding for family housing forects will be used funding the president's declaration of a national emergency? >> that is correct. wei want to reiterate that osetinue to provide th resources and quality of life for servicemembers and their families. by understanding that osc has not come to any of these services asked for a list of unobligated funds to assess the readinessimpacts the of differing specific construction projects? >> congresswoman, just to make sure i communicate effectively where we are in the process today is we have begun looking
at what those on obligated dollars are across the entire enterprise. that we provided you a gross list the taking back the fiscal year 2515 of of those unobligated dollars are. where we are today is beginning to take that list and break it down by project, by state. any allocation against asus if a project is premature because the acting secretary has yet to even begin to identify if there are any lists or any projects that would meet the 2808 authorities. made,e this request is that you will ensure us that you will keep us informed of the priority list on unobligated funding? >> our intent is to be fully transparent with the process. >> thank you. lastly, according to deity
2014,ation from 2001 to the department funded a total of 2808.jects under 10 usc currently the total number of national emergencies and effect is 32. is that also correct? >> yes, congresswoman. >> by law, evident by the 32 national emergency decorations 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 will work with other members on this subcommittee and the full committee and with the white house to ensure funding is reallocated appropriately and does not come at the expense of our military readiness. i appreciate again your time here today and your willingness to answer our questions. i'm sure as we move through this
we will have additional questions and i hope you will take us at the appropriate time. i will yield back. >> mr. cartwright? >> thank you, madam chair. thank you for the witness being here today. years to say for over 230 honoring the power of the purse has been more than a professional courtesy. it has been a bedrock constitutional principle of our republic. an ordinarye in course this subcommittee and its hastorial counterpart power of the purse for spending? >> i acknowledge that. >> i appreciated the phrase you just used, our intent is to be fully transparent. i take it you mean anytime you
deviate, pursuant to whatever appropriations, approved spending for military construction, you will let us know? --our intent would be to be transparent. there are, without going through legal requirements of when we do and do not report, tie don't answer openly on something i can't -- it's an open-ended question. i apologize if i sound like i'm millie mouthed. >> part of the answer is it is not your call. is that correct? >> i would differ to our comptroller experts on the question when it is necessary to be transparent. thatwant you to use
expression, i don't know. too many people are afraid to say that. you can say i don't know if you don't. will youk you this, keep this subcommittee informed regarding what you're going to do, when you're going to do it and how you are going to do it? or do you have to check with somebody? >> we will comedian -- keep you informed for the regards to 2808 authorities and what comes next. >> you have a schedule for keeping us informed. >> i do not because we have not yet determined whether or not they will be any 2808 authorities required. the first step in that is waiting for dh to provide is a lists. the assessment goes on from there. any schedule i give you would be depended upon factors not necessarily within our control. there is a lot of litigation already filed by various parties over this whole a federal court were
to enter an order suspending or in joining this plan anyway, tele -- can you tell us if you would pay that court order? >> what i would do is look at our legal counsel to provide assistance in what actions we would take from their. -- there. >> when you make decisions on what projects to delay or defer, will those be based on a set of criteria? i think you said they will be. >> yes, congressman. that is part of the record. we have heard the administration also plans to use $2.5 billion in counter drug funds to pay for border wall construction. i understand from media reports that the counter drug account is nearly depleted, and
reprogramming of other funds with the necessary first to raise the proposed funds internally before it can be used. i want to say at the outset under article i of the constitution, it is for us to andde how money is spent that was not the dream of the founding fathers that we would find out their media accounts how the money is to be spent. nevertheless, the media reports say the counter drug report is nearly depleted. that reprogramming of other funds would be necessary. if so, with the department request this reprogramming of the appropriations committee as it has done in the past? or will it proceed on its own without congressional approval? it is customary for dod to share programming documents with the congress once approved by omb. dodnderstanding is that
needs approval. approval from the congress is not required by law of reprogramming of 284. >> cable proceed on its own without congressional approval? >> as i stated, dod will share the reprogramming with congress. >> my time is up. madam chair, i yield back. staff to clarify the question? i think there might be a difference of opinion on the answer. >> i think it is committee practice. you are talking about the counter drug section. that is a defense bill reprogramming action that has to be approved by author risers and appropriators. that has been the standard practice for a number of years. >> thank you. thank you, mr. cartwright. >> thank you, madam chair.
mr. secretary, thank you. you have ohio roots, coming from toledo. i'm not happy about this hearing but i will show some buck i love -- buckeye love. i am flabbergasted with this whole enterprise. not only the constitutional issues that have been raised and sent the national decoration emergency was made. when we got on the appropriations committee, the chairwoman and i, the first thing they said was there were three types of members of congress. democrats, republicans and appropriators. we serve with some pretty long-standing members of this committee who instilled and 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 supported by fundamental principles that this country was founded upon. saying are today with us these are the priorities of the congress. the house, senate, white house. these are the priorities of the country. feelegardless of how we 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. only imagine of president obama or president clinton did anywhere near this, people will be running around with their hair on fire. offended it has come to this. i don't my personal behavior. i don't my politics or any of that. but when you're getting to the
fundamental execution of this government, and we see usurping power of projects the military has suggested, that we have gone through, through the appropriations process, signed into law. here comes the president of the united states saying i will take that money right there, from right path air force base or youngstown reserve station and i will put it to something i could not 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. here we are. i'm not trying to give you too much guff because you're the chain of command, but you are here and you need to take this message back. i am looking at the $60 million for wright pat and thinking this
national air and space intelligence center responsible for and if all source analysis on foreign airspace, cyberspace, ballistic missile forces, and we go to these briefings. cloc is cleaning our withk 5g, felt road initiative, china 2025, bases in africa. that's an emergency. i have a big laundry list. i am appalled at what is happened, that the politics are now driving the entire train here. i have a couple of questions. i want to ask if you can commit to the committee you will not be back here next year with this same national emergency. can you commit to us you will do that? >> i cannot give it to you. >> that's what i'm afraid of. what the hell are we here for?
what are we here for? i don't think anybody in this town will think this president is going to stop with this particular circumstance. i don't think democrats over republicans. they may not say it in front of the microphone, but no one thinks he's going to stop here. that's a problem. 2808 list, does it add up to $3.6 billion? >> at this point in time there is no list because we have not yet validated there is in fact a requirement to utilize 2808 authorities. for theaiting department of homeland security to provide input to the acting secretary, at which time the request will be analyzed. at that point if there are any valid requirements, we would utilize the 2808 authorities. >> at that point in time>> the $3.6 billion came from that
money they want for the wall. they told you any $3.6 billion? >> the president have it in a fight a requirement for $8.1 billion in this fiscal year. appropriated $1.4 billion. $600 million of it was available in forfeitures of two $2.5 billion was identified utilizing 284 and that is with a three point -- >> i want to ask one quick question if you will indulge me. if youngstown reserve station has $8.8 billion for security on their base and they are currently going out right now and they are in the process of obligating these funds, do they have any idea the you're on your >> at this point in time, every
unobligated dollar within the department is in consideration. i would defer to that question to my counterpart in the air force and figure out what specific guidance, if any, they have given at this time. >> you do not know if the air force told the local bases not to go out? >> i am unaware if anybody has been told to defer or wait at this point in time. >> i yield back. >> thank you. conclude, i had accidentally cut myself off. i will just ask one remaining question. this is in reference to your commentary about reprogramming policy. , has it ever on reprogramming without the appropriators consent? practicestanding is in
if an authorizer or appropriate or says no then dod has not reprogrammed the money? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> if you could get the answer to that, it is our understanding that this is the case. i would urge you to take the message back that you have heard today. these funds are not flexible. they were't a pro -- appropriated for specific projects. we need to make sure that we are following the law and that we -- not chopper rising jeopardizing our national security with funds that are needed -- that you said were needed for our troops. i thank you for the extra time madame chairman. i may be wrong and you may not
be able to answer these things i want to ask you. isst, on this issue that she talking about, it is my understanding that since world war ii that has been the policy of the defense department that congress won't sign off on any of these. itave no knowledge whether sinceer stopped anything world war ii, that is a long time. i was also told there was a court case that if congress didn't approve, they could still go forward. i don't know if that is true but i was told it was. do either of you have any knowledge of that? >> take those questions for record and make sure we provide an accurate answer. >> another that concerns me is i be told that it could only spent on dod property.
i don't know how you would treat federal property -- our border between united states and mexico is a federal property from san diego to el paso. is notu get to texas, it federal property. there is no federal land exemption to my knowledge. that we gave you, how we entered the union was different from everybody else. we are always different. for the best case scenario, it would be put on arizona land, which is federal 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 it has to be on federal land? authorities under those there are two qualifiers. it has to be federal land and it has to be under the jurisdiction of the military department. to do military construction on that the answer is yes. >> has anybody thought about this? >> that has been part of the conversation and we understand that. >> i have the right information, thank you. >> in our materials in the briefings, it says it is also during the phase that they will start the process of taking land to turn it over to dod. becausewill be in texas it is private land. >> my understanding is the land
will be federal, state, and private land. there will be significant litigation, et cetera. has been illuminating gentlemen, thank you very much. we appreciate your service to the nation. towill make sure to hold you the transparency to which you committed. and suggest that you take back admissions before which you have appeared today. thank you very much. we will transition to the witnesses for the second panel. this is the civilian leadership for the pentagon for energy and environment. with us this afternoon is the honorable alex buehler. . baer,orable phyllis l and the honorable john henderson.
as you are making your way to your seats, we will enter your written statements into the record. welcome to all of you. if you begin with secretary buehler, assuming you are ready summarizeif you can your remarks in five minutes. your full statement will be entered into the record. thank you very much. ,hairwoman wasserman schultz
distinguish members of the committee, make you for this opportunity to testify on the whichess of installations respect our military construction program and the president's declaration of a national emergency on the southern border. on february 15, 2019, the president issued proclamation 98 44 declaring national emergency on the southern border. in that document, he invoked u.s. code title 10, section 2808 a, military construction. it authorizes the secretary of defense to determine whether border barriers are necessary to support use of the armed services and redirect unobligated dod funding to construct border barriers if required. the acting secretary of defense is considering whether and how
to use this authority. requestedy 18, he from the department of homeland security, a privatized list, that is of proposed border subjects in its efforts to assist customs and border protection in securing the southern border. the acting secretary of defense has not yet made any decisions with respect to using such -- a section 2808. no matter what actions are taken, the army's number one priority continues to be readiness. this is completely aligned with the secretary of defense and secretary of the army's efforts to build and sustain were fighting capabilities. this priority is also consistent with national defense strategy objectives.
as a projection platforms, installations remain .oundational readiness concerns we continue to diligently and prudently carry out our goals of modernizing facilities and ensuring energy and water resilience, all while being good stewards of environmental resources. of they is keenly aware obligation to provide safe, affordable housing to all men and women in uniform. homeorces begin in the where the safety of soldiers and their families promote peace of mind and mission focus. we will work every day to ensure shoulders note -- soldiers know their loved ones are safe.
housing is a readiness concern essential to our mission, want to stress the department will not consider any family housing or barracks projects as funding sources for section 2808. the care of our soldiers and thelies will always be of utmost importance and remain a priority. whatever decision is made, i will take the utmost care that we meet our goal of readiness and we will work with my peers to ensure the army effectively carries out potential commitments while maintaining adequate resources for other mission objectives. i will process develops, carry out prescribed actions while also serving as an advocate for soldiers and our mission. i look forward to hearing any questions you may have. >> thank you.
afternoon. thank you for having us here today. it is an honor to sit before you with my fellow service. in support of the president's goal to support our homeland and national dissent strategy, secretary spencer has focused the apartment's effort to it ,estore military readiness improving our processes, and creating greater capabilities in every area of the navy and marine corps fording -- fighting force. we are committed to ensuring all marines, sailors, and their families live in safe, secure exceed that meet or health and safety standards. our commitment stands firm to support our sailors, marines, and families. as a result of the national
emergency declaration made on february 15, 2019, the department of defense is taking thaterative decision path includes decisions by acting secretary of defense 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 to understand the full potential of how this will play out. as of today, the department has not asked to the department of navy to redirect unobligated funds, nor to provide an assessment of the risk and impacts of deferring specific s in the expectation of using the 28 08 authorities. we have a few specifics to provide, which i'm sure is quite frustrating for you. should the department direct the
navy to engage in more deliberative planning, we will carefully assess the potential impacts of deferring any projects on fleet and readiness forces across the globe. you areportant and as aware, the process of getting project nominated, competed, and authorized for funding is deliberative, extensive, and a very important process. that you each project appropriate very carefully. i want to assure you that we take this very seriously, your role as the appropriate or of the taxpayers dollars. i look forward to your questions, thank you. >> thank you. secretary henderson. thank you for the opportunity to appear at this hearing today and represent our airman.
i have submitted my full written statement for the record which details some of the ongoing efforts with air force installation and environment in energy. on february 15, 2019, the president declared national emergency at the southern border of the united states that requires the use of armed forces, making available certain available authorities. the acting secretary of defense determines the use of section 20 80 eight is necessary, the air force will work with the department of defense to identify funding that could be deferred in support of the use of armed forces while minimizing any impacts to readiness of the air force. on behalf of our airman and their families, please accept our thanks for the support of our air force, i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. thank you to all three of you.
henderson, i just returned from the florida panhandle. i toured the devastation that was brought by hurricane michael. being from florida myself and living through a hurricane, i am familiar with the impact that very strong hurricanes can have. i was living in south florida when hurricane andrew hit. wilma, katrina, the list goes on. the devastation that i witnessed in mexico beach, the surrounding i have not seen it since andrew. it took my breath away. of the air force base was
destroyed. one of the criteria that the secretary will look at is if a project is up for recapitalization to update, fix, or upgrade existing facilities. this falls under the criteria. we could is that potentially see a delay in the rebuilding. i understand that technically the pool of funds eligible under the act are not obligated funds. the likelyt all of funding for rebuilding is going to come from a supplemental. .e know we will have to do this given that much of it will be recapitalized to update, fix, or replace existing facilities, is it possible or likely that this
action, as a result of the president's emergency declaration and his intention to repeatedly steel funding from projects that congress has approved or will be likely means it will be further delayed? you.ank i share your concern with the air force base in the devastation that has happened there on the base and in the community. we are working in partnership with the folks in the local community and everybody who has assisted us in the recovery of the air force base. please be assured that the recovery and reconstruction is an absolute priority for the air force as it is for the administration. we are committed to getting that done. -- thereal estimates is about a $4.7 billion bill to go back and build what is one of our key fighter bases. treasurer and national
and it is critical to the support. >> if we can speculate to all that and you will get to my question. is there likelihood or possibility that as a result of the emergency declaration, the funds that are potentially eligible to be shifted -- is it likely or possibility that the further rebuilding could be delayed? >> 42808 authority, we do not have -- we haven't put together .he 1391's there are no funds eligible. is not possible is what you're saying? there are no funds appropriated now to recapitalize, update, fix? there is no possibility that tyndall's rebuilding will be delayed?
piecese is probably two of that. all of the funds we are currently using are being cash flowed out of current air force fiscal year 2019 funds. we are pulling those from other accounts because it is a priority. becauseof the urgency, of the mission we are trying to recover, it would be highly unlikely that we would divert funds from tyndall at this point in support of 2808 authorities. >> we will watch that very closely. the surrounding region where tyndall is -- 60% of the economy is dependent on tyndall coming back up and running and being fully functional. would like to ask each of you, do you believe a border the is more important than projects which each of you and
your departments have requested that at the time you deemed vital to our readiness and national security? madam chairman, i support the president and the acting secretary of defense and whatever decision he makes and will engage in the process that results from it. i would say that there are many important things. we have competing priorities. navy,e department of the we will put readiness first which is consistent with considerations if asked to contribute to the 2808 authority . we are making decisions as best as we can at the time asked.
among the unobligated funds anjects, a $60 million 14 aircraft hangar in north carolina. the 1391 stated the description for the committee. that 1391 that accompanied the project stated that there are no existing hangers that can support the requirements of the f-35b aircraft. if it is not supported it will be unable to support the f-35 squadrons. the project was started in 2016. what is more important? supporting the military and the next generation of aircraft, or building a border wall? i know they are competing priorities. this is what you said was critical. >> it is a very important project for us. if asked to make decisions on
unobligated balances at that time, we are doing our best to put readiness first. >> how will the loss of this project affect operational readiness? >> i am not familiar with that level of detail. i will take that one from the record. myself.ld back to >> sorry. section 2808 authorizes the secretary of defense, in the event of a national emergency to undertake military construction projects without regard to other provisions of law. generally this means a secretary would not be required to comply with national environmental and federal contracting laws.
what would the army undertake to decide whether it should comply with these laws? under what circumstances can you envision the army choosing not to comply? understand, the law and i am not in a capacity as a lawyer with the department of defense. i would ultimately refer to the department's legal counsel. if othertanding is environmental requirements impair the department's ability to address the national emergency through military construction necessary to support use of the armed services. the quote without regard to 2808e unquote in section
overrides the provisions in other environmental requirements to the extent that they conflict with the ability of the geestment to meet the x to of the national emergency. the words used would probably be a key issue in that, right? >> yes sir. >> this question is kind of off the subject but it is all over the army and the air force. we recently announced talking about the bill of rights of tenants. the army and the air force. it is because in our privatized housing, i would say that we have not done well with the maintenance repair of the existing housing.
that may be on the developers, i don't know. please describe the steps you take to address the concern that the navy and marine corps have made the decision of whether they support developing the tenants bill of rights. i will go first. the services are working together on developing a tenants or residents bill of rights. we have been in discussions amongst ourselves as well as shared with the private companies, executives, they have been brought into the process. our goal is to be able to announce something publicly within the next few days. we are still in the drafting stages. you don't speak for everybody? >> that is correct.
we are working together and we believe it is an important initiative to set out the expectations of the partner and military service members to find ourselves in a situation we have found ourselves in recently. i would confirm that. the three of us are meeting tomorrow on the same topic and this is about communicating better with the residents. thank you very much. the costuestion about for repair of navy and marine s, i have something from the marine corps that says they found a bunch of money and are working on it. thank you madam chairman. >> thank you judge carter. >> thank you.
sorry, i do not have anymore analogies for the afternoon. you made the point in your testimony, written and oral, that basically family housing was off the table. is that correct? >> yes sir. agree that family housing is a high priority. i want to know how that decision was made. dealusly you made a great about prioritization's in the process you have gone through and will go through. thee you will have to make cuts. some decision was made to take that category off the table. i agree with it. there are some decisions being made already as to how to prioritize the money allocated to the wall. where was that decision made? was --nly knowledge
comes from the fact that this was a statement made by the acting secretary of defense. toas not otherwise privy as how he made that decision. i ask this question of the secretary, or any of you consulted in advance as to how exactly this would be carried out on readiness. was there any advice given from the dod back to the president that this might have quite an impact on our military capabilities and readiness? you made a very big deal in your testimony on readiness. what consultation occurred? as i say, i have not been
privy to any consultation. we were provided this guidance from the office of the secretary of defense. the same way, i don't know of any consultation. i assume the military advisors were consulted with. i'm usually not in that ring. know theyou do not answer, given your answers. do thisust like i will emergency declaration and we will pay for it. congress hasn't appropriated the money and we are under the 2808 authority. as to howction given to carry this out? was there any thought given that you know of two exactly how this was going to play out? again, i have no knowledge. apologize, i cannot provide you a better answer to your question. this was the guidance you were
provided. i was not part of the conversations. >> i have nothing to add. >> i am trying to sort this out. a lot of this has to do with the testimony. you're going through kind of a analyzinga process of getting into the funds at all. which will you pick out? i heard a couple of different factors. the first i heard was the basic one of how will it impact our readiness? i am talking about nonfamily housing. one category is readiness. another category it would seem to me is that some of these projects are midstream. they are multiyear projects. you have projects that have not started yet or as you call them obligated yet versus projects happening along the way. maybe they are longer-term projects. you also have an ingredient
where there were already negotiations going on, there is already a bid process in place. no formal obligation yet. they are spending money, spending time. they have an expectation that they will get a bit if they have the low bid. that is against people that have not started the process yet. it sounds like a mess, frankly. you have a lot of factors to consider in a short period of time. that the case for how you pull this off? once the acting secretary makes the decision, we have to move very quickly. attempting its own category --
categorization and the staff in the army is working on that. it is a work in progress. >> i'm sorry, my time is up. the concern by my colleague, i think it is a real one. if you have people in the middle of a bid process, and you will pull the plug out from underneath them, i think you are them some notice. thank you very much. >> thank you. secretary henderson, i want to follow up on the chairwoman's earlier line of questioning about tyndall air force base. mentioned in response to one of our questions that there actually are no funds available tyndall.8 at
you 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. you give the committee a list of where they are coming from? i am curious where those funds are coming from and in what amount. aboutte, we've spent 350 million dollars in operations and maintenance funds at tyndall. the funds are primarily coming out of facilities accounts in the air force. in other words, funding that would have been scheduled to be spent at the end of the year, we pulled those forward and have
surged those in on tyndall. >> i don't want to cut you short. i did not expect you to have the whole list here today. if you could just provide something in writing on that, i would like to see where those dollars are coming from and what amount they are. i didn't know they were taking place. also, i presume that there will be a request coming in the 2020 budget for substantial rebuilding of tyndall, correct? >> that is correct. >> following backup on decisions it says that dod
the have the funds from following projects in this order. projects that have not been ordered, recapitalization projects, they are awarded later in the fiscal year, and have minimal operational readiness. i hadn't heard these others before. category ofrrect decision-making? >> which others? >> they are projects that have not been awarded. are part of a recapitalization project. >> i understand, that was part of mr. mcmahon's written statement. that is the general guidance and considerations with regard to how we might consider projects. each of the services -- we are
going to do that to make sure we are minimal lysing any impact to readiness through the process. putgeneral criteria that is out is a good method for us, a good framework for us to use. not every project fits that. there might be some redlines or some stuff that we are at the point of the acquisition process. that we would never do anything that didn't make sense along those lines. to support the request of the secretary of defense to the best of our abilities. we don't exactly go by criteria. i know there is currently eis underway. are you planning on running it with the new f-35 squadron? to by law.equired absolutely. >> i know i don't have much time
left. naval installations are considered the impact of sea level rise. this is a little off-topic but i am curious, can you give me a thumbnail sketch of the navy's strategic plan for how to address sea level rise? >> i can. navys been brought to the that we are dealing with some flooding and extreme weather and sea level rise. our engineers at the naval facility engineering command repaired a handbook for adaptations as we plan and design our facilities to include piers and buildings where we cite those facilities and we are carefully taking into consideration any way that the design would need to be modified or adapted so that it would be more resilient and could withstand the effects of sea level rise, for example.
individual installations doing these studies on their own? >> it is part of our master planning and incorporated into the bigger process so we are thinking about it from the very beginning and a more holistic approach. >> thank you very much, my time is up. >> thank you. oneink i am the only remaining with questions. i have a couple. ithink i just heard you say, know the money that is being shifted for tyndall that means you are taking it away from other places that it would have been spent. the expectation and hope is that congress would pay that back by appropriating the replacement funds. it would be done in an emergency supplemental. i heard you say that the replacement funding for tyndall will come out of the hide of the yearorce in the fiscal
2020 request. does that mean it will not be an emergency request coming from the administration to address hurricane michael and other disasters? don't want to speak for the administration on what the plans are for submitting a disaster supplemental for hurricane michael and all the other disasters that have been out there. i can speak to -- as we discussed earlier, since the recovery of tyndall is a priority, we have been cash flowing that with facilities funds. with operation and maintenance funds under our supervision. way, shape, or form we would have to make up for the fiscal year 19 funds. some of that may be out of hide or other air force programs. a supplemental funding, we have no other option then to go back and ask for next
year's fiscal year 2020. at that time we probably have the 1391s. >> if that is what happens and there is no supplemental end you , how does thatt not nearly completely consume your request? that is a great question. it is a complex problem. what we have done is we have done -- identify the requirements. itidentified the base as should be built back to support the generation. we are submitting the funding requirements and we are going to work with them and we will work with congress on the resources available to fully recover tyndall air force base. basically the answer to my first question is yes.
given that we have to repay the .oney that you are spending now we have fiscal year 19 projects thatwill likely be taken will delay funding for true merge and. especially if there is no emergencies. tyndall is counting on an emergency supplemental. it is not like there are other needs the air force has. if all of this ends up getting top loaded in fiscal year 20, then you are going to either impact how quickly we could rebuild tyndall or dramatically impact the rest of the priorities. that affects readiness. doesn't that mean that this national emergency declaration by the president is going to affect military readiness? what we are talking about
here is a whole host of national security priorities for which there aren't enough resources to go around. a process i see and speak for the air force but i do not speak resources.adjudicate being a part of the air force -- >> won't impact air force readiness? given everything we just discussed? ensure that weo are supporting the national security priorities in a way that minimizes air force readiness. we we have always done given the resources we have. >> i will note that i know you are doing your job and you did not say no. by the fact that you did not say no, essentially you are saying yes. >> i would say the fair answer is i don't know. this is authority that has not
been invoked yet. we have not gone through the readiness impact with regard to tyndall. there is one appropriated project there right now for a fire station. to even speak to whether the funding from that will be deferred, that will be something we put into the process. needs $4 billion. youave to repay the money are spending now and you cancel fiscal year 19 projects. you previously asked for those and said they were essential, how does that not affect air force readiness? we submitted their requirements to dod on the auspice is that there may be other resources that they are programmed towards disaster recovery. >> not sure what that means but
i think we have made our point. >> i think our point is the air force cannot recover tyndall inside our currently planned appropriations. i have to leave the committee with that. we are doing everything we can to keep that recovery on track. then taking a look at that, we are doing the best we can. >> please urge the white house to request an emergency supplemental. it doesn't make sense to me that you can not affect military readiness if you do not have one. thank you. i want to thank the indulgence of the committee today. thank our witnesses. really areon, we facing some significant challenges represented by the president's emergency declaration. we are concluding here this
afternoon. i want to remind members that our next hearing is tomorrow, february 28, at 10:00 a.m. in the capital. the topic will be female veterans access to the v.a.. the committee stands adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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