September 25, 2019/Press

TODAY: Tillis AGAIN to Vote to Allow $80 Million Raid from NC Bases

Raleigh – Senator Tillis is being forced to relive “one of [his] weakest moments” today as he “intends to vote Wednesday to uphold Trump’s border emergency” even though the decision allows a raid of $80 million from North Carolina’s military bases, has fueled scathing criticisms from voters and editorial boards across the state, and earned Tillis a self-funding primary challenger who is forcing the senator to spend half of his campaign cash.

Earlier this year, Tillis promised to vote against the emergency declaration but then “caved like a sand castle at high tide” and delivered “a flip-flop for the ages.” North Carolinians – and Senator Tillis – are still feeling the consequences of that spineless broken promise. Military bases are losing funding for projects such as an ambulatory care center at Camp Lejeune while the Pentagon and Air Force warn that the cash grab will create “dire outcomes” and risk national security. Meanwhile, voters continue to read scathing criticisms about how Tillis “meekly acquiesced to the cash grab,” “did not stand up to Trump for state’s military funding,” levied an “$80 million punch to the gut” to our state, and “supports just about everything Trump wants.”

Washington Post: Senate to vote on Trump’s wall budget maneuver again, as offsets come into focus
By Erica Werner and Aaron Gregg
September 25, 2019

Key Points:

  • The Senate on Wednesday will vote for the second time this year to overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the Southern border — but with an important difference.
  • When senators first voted on the issue, in March, the Pentagon had not released a list of the $3.6 billion in military construction projects that were being canceled to pay for Trump’s wall.
  • But earlier this month that list was released, and senators now know the specific projects in their states that are being scrapped to make way for Trump’s wall. That creates new pressure for GOP senators, especially those up for re-election in 2020, to weigh their allegiance to Trump and his border wall against their support for much-needed projects at military bases and installations back home.
  • The law allows Democrats to force repeated votes aimed at overturning the national emergency through disapproval resolutions that can pass with a simple majority vote. In March, 59 senators including 12 Republicans voted to overturn the national emergency, while 41 senators voted to uphold it. The resolution was ultimately vetoed by Trump and Congress failed to override his veto.
  • Some of the projects are in the home states of the GOP senators who are considered most vulnerable in their re-election fights, and Democratic campaign committees and challengers have already been making plans to use the issue against them.
  • And in North Carolina, where Republican Sen. Thom Tillis is up for re-election, $47 million is being canceled for projects including a healthcare facility for active duty Marines at Camp Lejeune. The existing facility “lacks basic requirements such as sinks, proper ventilation and exam rooms with doors,” defense officials wrote in 2017.
  • Tillis already faced pressure on the issue because before the March vote, he announced that he planned to oppose the national emergency declaration, only to reverse himself under pressure from Trump supporters in North Carolina.
  • At the time, Tillis said he was hopeful of being able to work with the Trump administration to update the National Emergencies Act. A spokesman said Tillis has been working on legislation that has passed the Senate’s Homeland Security committee to place greater constraints on the use of presidential emergency declarations. Tillis intends to vote Wednesday to uphold Trump’s border emergency.