U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01) released the following statements today regarding the notification that military construction funding will be used for border security:
“The president knows we need to finish the wall on the southern border. I was there last month where I clearly saw yet again that border security is national security – plain and simple. We’re working to address the problem through multiple approaches, including getting the Mexican government to step up their role and addressing the abuse of the asylum process. But the fact remains that we need to finish the wall, and temporarily redirecting military construction funds will let us make real progress on the wall without a substantial impact to readiness,” Inhofe said.
Inhofe continued: “Not one of the vital national security projects in Oklahoma will be impacted by this decision. Additionally, I will continue to work with the Oklahoma National Guard and Major General Thompson to ensure that the small arms range is still completed on schedule.”
“The mission of the Department of Defense is to secure our nation. Providing additional funding to complete the wall at the US Southern border falls into that mission,” said Lankford. “Oklahoma’s military installations are strong and the project that would be impacted by the completion of the border wall will not hinder the capabilities at our Oklahoma military bases.”
“Securing our border is a top priority of mine, and has been since the moment I took the oath of office,” Hern said. “Border security is national security. The temporary cut to the facility in Oklahoma does not threaten our national security capabilities and I will work hard with our delegation to ensure our guardsmen have all the resources that they need to do their job. President Trump and Republican leaders have been working to fund a border wall for years - if there’s anything we can do to continue moving it forward, we must do it. President Trump’s policies are working. We’re already seeing fewer illegal crossings thanks to his negotiations with Mexico. I fully support this decision to prioritize our national security and I look forward to seeing the continued success of the President’s policies.”
Oklahoma military leaders agree:
"Currently, members of the Oklahoma National Guard are deployed to the southern border where they are assisting in a vital mission for the security of our country and gaining valuable training experience,” said Major General Michael Thompson, the Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard. “Temporarily redirecting funds from our planned small arms range to further support security on the southern border will have no long-term impact to the readiness or operations of the Oklahoma National Guard. I appreciate Sen. Inhofe for continuing to work with us to improve the readiness and capabilities of the Oklahoma National Guard."
No funding will be redirected from any of the five major military installations in Oklahoma. Following conversations with Secretary Esper and Major General Thompson, funds will be temporarily redirected from a planned small arms range for the Oklahoma National Guard because it will have no operational impact on the Guard and will be funded next year. Inhofe’s Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act authorized funding to backfill any impacted projects.