STATEMENT: Chair Rizzo responds after Florida loses $17 Million and Puerto Rico loses $402 Million t

September 4, 2019

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo released the following statement after the abhorrent decision from the Trump Administration to divert more than $419 million from Florida and Puerto Rico projects to build his ineffective border wall:

“While the people in Puerto Rico and the Panhandle are still waiting for the allocated funds to recover after Hurricanes Maria and Michael, Donald Trump is diverting money not only needed to recover from natural disasters, but also to rebuild military construction buildings like Tyndall Air Force Base, posing a serious risk to our national security. The American people deserve a president willing to help them in times of need and to put our security first, but unfortunately what we are seeing in the White House is a selfish man looking to fulfill his empty campaign promises and run our country as his own business. America deserves better.”

Background:

In May, Trump visited Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and promised service members that he would help rebuild structures during Hurricane Michael and build new buildings. Now he’s taking military construction funds from the base to build his border wall that he promised Mexico would pay for.

March 2019: THE AIR FORCE SAID IT DESPERATELY NEEDED DISASTER RELIEF FUNDING FOR TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE AMID TRUMP’S PUSH TO REPURPOSE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN MILITARY CONSTRUCTION FUNDS FOR HIS BORDER WALL

HEADLINE: “Trump Could Repurpose $4.9 Billion The Air Force ‘Desperately’ Needs For His Border Wall” [MarketWatch, 3/28/19]

MAY 2019: TRUMP AND PENCE VISITED TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE AND PROMISED ITS “INCREDIBLE” AND “OUTSTANDING” PEOPLE NEW BUILDINGS AND REPAIRS

5/8/19: Trump Visited Tyndall Air Force Base And Received An Update On Ongoing Recovery Efforts From Hurricane Michael, Which Damaged Nearly All Of The Base’s 700 Structures. “Ahead of his planned campaign stop on Wednesday, President Trump will arrive at Tyndall Air Force Base, where Air Force One will land, a White House official confirmed. While there, Trump will receive an update on ongoing recovery efforts at the base. The eye of Hurricane Michael passed directly over Tyndall Air Force Base, leaving the structures devastated and the base’s capabilities compromised. Nearly all of the base’s 700 structures were damaged.” [Panama City News Herald, 5/7/19]

TRUMP IS DIVERTING FUNDS FROM CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS AT TYNDALL AFB FOR HIS INEFFECTIVE BORDER WALL, EVEN AFTER HE REPEATEDLY PROMISED FLORIDIANS THAT MEXICO WOULD PAY

The Trump Administration Called For Diverting $17 Million From Tyndall Air Force Base To Fund A Border Wall. [U.S. Department of Defense, 9/4/19; Washington Post, 9/4/19]

RECONSTRUCTION AT TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE WAS PREVIOUSLY HALTED AS TRUMP HELD UP DISASTER-RELIEF FUNDING BECAUSE OF HIS GRUDGE AGAINST PUERTO RICO

Construction Was Halted At Tyndall Air Force Base In May Because Trump Had Refused To Support Any Disaster Relief Package Congress Has Passed. “Tyndall Air Force Base, a major economic force in Bay County, was also hit hard by the storm. Housing on the base was damaged as were more than a dozen F-22 fighter jets. Construction at the base halted last week because of a lack of funding. Trump is expected to get a briefing at the base. Congress has yet to pass supplemental disaster-relief funding that would get the president's blessing.” [NPR, 5/8/19]

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