The base is scheduled to get a new aircraft hangar. It may not happen.
Dover Air Force Base could lose a new aircraft hangar if money for its construction is diverted to help build a southern border wall.
It is estimated the hangar would cost about $39 million.
On Feb. 15, President Donald Trump initiated a national emergency declaration in an effort to obtain money from military construction funds for the border project. Trump later vetoed an effort by the Congress to nullify the declaration, leading Pentagon officials to make the list public March 18.
The 20-page listing includes planned military construction both in the United States and abroad. Construction projects where contracts already have been awarded or that are scheduled to be awarded in Fiscal Year 2019 are not affected.
Likewise, no military housing, barracks or dormitory projects are impacted.
The projects on the listing total almost $6.8 billion, more than the projected cost of the border wall. It shows all projects where money has not been awarded; just because a project is on the list does not mean its funding will be used for the border barrier, however.
Delaware Sen. Chris Coons was the first of Delaware’s Congressional delegation to say he would fight Trump’s proposal.
“President Trump promised that Mexico would pay for his wall, but now that he can’t get his way, he’s proposing to take money from important military construction projects to pay for it – and one of the projects possibly on the chopping block is a hangar at Dover Air Force Base,” he said.
“But it’s not just Dover Air Force Base that could be impacted. The president is considering pulling funds from military construction projects in 42 states, D.C., U.S. territories, and our bases overseas – projects including training centers, elementary schools, fire stations, and air traffic control towers.
“Needless to say, this is no way to run the federal government, support our military, or secure the border,” Coons said. “The president should follow the Constitution and work with Congress to make smart investments in border security, keep the government open and functioning, and give the military the resources it needs.
In the meantime, it’s not too late to stop this. I hope my colleagues from both parties will join me in overriding the president’s veto and ending his national emergency declaration.”
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Delaware’s lone congresswoman, agreed.
“Democrats and Republicans agree that we need to secure our border and keep our communities safe, but we cannot do that by stealing money from critical military construction projects on bases in Delaware and overseas,” Blunt Rochester said. “The president has a responsibility to work with Congress to pass spending measures that make smart investments in our future, provide our military with the tools needed to do their jobs, and keep families safe.
“Unfortunately, the president’s emergency declaration does none of these things. I will fight alongside Senators Carper and Coons in Washington to make sure that projects at Dover Air Force Base are fully funded, and I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support an override vote – sending a message on executive overreach.”
Sen. Tom Carper weighed in via three tweets:
“First, @realDonaldTrump said Mexico was going to pay for a wall across our Southern border. Mexico said no. Then he said taxpayers should pay for it. And Congress said no — repeatedly.
“Now, to get his way, he wants our military to bear the enormous costs,” Carper tweeted.
“But now, they’re on the chopping block to pay for @realDonaldTrump's massive wall that a majority of Americans oppose and experts acknowledge will be ineffective.
“By stripping funding from projects across the world that help the brave men and women of our military do their jobs, @realDonaldTrump is threatening our nation’s security,” Carper added.
“As a retired Navy captain and naval flight officer, I understand how important it is to make sure the brave men and women who protect our nation have the resources they need to do their work effectively.”
The House of Representatives has scheduled an attempt to override Trump’s veto for March 26. A similar Senate vote, if needed, has not been set.
To see a copy of the entire listing, visit https://tinyurl.com/yy62ed49.
(This story has been edited to include comments by Delaware's Congressional delegation.)