Approved submarine base pier funding might be diverted to fund Border Wall

New London

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Navy’s fleet of submarines continues to become more technologically advanced.

“The boats that are there are being modernized and we’re also going to have the new stretch Virginia Class that need new technology where they tie up,” said Rep. Joe Courtney, (D) Connecticut.

That’s why he says the Navy needs a new pier at the Submarine Base in Groton. Congress approved the $72-million pier project as part of its $10-billion military construction funding.

“And the president signed it into law,” said Rep. Courtney.

Congress also approved $1.4 billion for the border wall but now some fear the president could divert $3.7 billion from military construction to the border wall like he did last year.

“Projects got the rug pulled out from under them,” said Rep. Courtney.

In 2019, the president diverted $3.6 billion to the border wall which stalled 127 military construction projects in red and blue states.

The congressman says lessons can be learned from last year’s diversion which could keep the pier project safe. 

For example making sure commitments and contracts for the project are signed within this fiscal year could be essential because it appears some of the projects which had those in place last year were spared.

“I did speak to some of the folks down at the base about how time is of the essence in terms of getting the funds obligated which that’s sort of… where I think you have the safe harbor,” said Rep. Courtney.

There is concern if the SUBASE money is lost.

“I think it really undermines the mission that’s going on there,” said the congressman.

He is hoping his colleagues in Congress will push to try to make sure this kind of sudden diversion of funds without any consultation won’t keep happening. 

“Completely outside of the norm of any past practices,” said Rep. Courtney.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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