Joni Ernst Tries To Siphon Military Funds For Border Wall

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst bucked several of her Republican colleagues Wednesday in voting against a bill aimed at stopping the president from declaring a national emergency to fund the construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Republican-led Senate voted 54-41 to terminate President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration. Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the resolution to torpedo the attempt to re-divert military funds for Trump’s signature campaign promise.

Ernst, however, and fellow Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, voted against the bill. Because the Senate did not achieve a veto-proof majority of 60 votes, Trump still could reject the bill and move forward with the national emergency. In doing so, the Department of Defense said in September it would siphon off $3.6 billion from military construction projects to put toward building the border wall.

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An ongoing analysis by Five Thirty Eight show Ernst voting in line with the president’s position 91.6% of the time.

Neither Ernst or Grassley have commented on Wednesday’s vote.

In March, the last time the Senate voted to block the emergency declaration, Ernst justified her vote against the resolution because of the “humanitarian crisis at the southern border that demands attention and action.”

“Iowans have been clear on their desire for a strong, secure border and to curb human trafficking and the flow of drugs in our state,” said Ernst, in a March 14 tweet. “Under the National Emergencies Act, the president has the authority to make this decision, and while I’ve consistently stated this is not the approach I would have preferred, I do recognize the need to secure our border.”

Ernst, a military veteran, appears fully committed to the president’s border wall promise, even at the expense of military members. Schools and daycare centers for military families are among the 127 Defense Department projects that will be impacted if Trump goes through with the emergency declaration.

Iowa is not among the 13 states that will have military projects impacted. The bulk of the funding will come from Puerto Rico and Guam, though New York, New Mexico, Alaska, Virginia, Washington, North Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky, Utah, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii and Arizona also will lose military funding for projects in their states.

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah were among the Republicans who voted in favor of the resolution to kill the emergency declaration.

In July, Ernst visited the southern border, again citing the “humanitarian crisis” and “overwhelmed” detention facilities.


By Elizabeth Meyer
Posted 9/26/19

2 Comments on "Joni Ernst Tries To Siphon Military Funds For Border Wall"

  • Boy, she’s ticking all the boxes, isn’t she? Former military amenable to guting necessary (in this case) military programs? Check! (doesn’t affect Iowa – directly, so that;’s OK by her.) Standing with #notmypresident over 90% of the time? Check. Whistleblower report? “Oh, I haven’t read it, but there is nothing wrong there.”? Check.

    For a wall that people, in spite of administration claims to the contrary, have scaled in 30 seconds, and will never be “completed”. That’s surely representing us well.

  • Elizabeth, I have a question/correction. I know that 60 votes would be filibuster-proof, but isn’t a veto-proof majority 67 votes (2/3 of the Senate)?

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