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North Las Vegas National Guard project funds not for border wall

Updated March 29, 2019 - 1:17 pm

WASHINGTON — A $32 million National Guard readiness center under construction in North Las Vegas has been lopped off a list of potential military construction projects being eyed by the Trump administration for funds to build a border wall.

The readiness center, located near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, was on a House Appropriations Committee list of potential military construction projects vulnerable to President Donald Trump’s plan to redirect money to pay for wall construction in South Texas.

But a recently released Pentagon list of potential projects does not include the National Guard center, although three other Nevada projects, totalling $66 million at Creech Air Force Base and Nellis Air Force Base, remain in the crosshairs.

Lt. Col. Mickey Kirschenbaum, Nevada National Guard spokesman, said the center is not on the Pentagon list of potential projects that could be curtailed, and he cautioned that no decisions have been made on other projects on the list.

The 70,997 square-foot readiness center is currently under construction and contractors are being paid, Kirschenbaum said.

Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., whose congressional district includes all state military construction projects where funds could be redirected, grilled Trump administration budget officials about the possible cuts during committee hearings.

Congress rejected the president’s demand for $5.7 billion to build portions of a border wall in a spending bill passed by the House and Senate earlier this year. It included $1.375 million for fencing and technology for border security.

Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border on Feb. 26 to bypass Congress and redirect funds to build portions of a border wall, a key campaign pledge.

The administration notified Congress that it would take $3.6 billion from military construction projects, and $3.1 billion from drug interdiction programs to pay for wall construction.

The House and Senate, in bipartisan votes, passed a resolution to terminate the president’s national emergency declaration. Trump vetoed the measure, and a vote to override that veto failed this week when the House failed to muster a two-thirds majority.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc.

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