Mitch McConnell is scrambling after Trump loots millions from Kentucky right out from under him
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is scrambling to save his own butt amid reports that his state is losing out on more than $62 million after Donald Trump seized military funds to pay for his precious border wall.
That military funding was approved to build a new middle school at Kentucky's Fort Campbell, but Trump's fictional crisis at the border is now robbing those children of the resources necessary to build an inhabitable school. Some 550 kids at Mahaffey Middle School will instead continue cramming themselves into classrooms 30 kids at a time and using the library as an overflow room for their too-small cafeteria. Apparently, that’s a bad enough look that McConnell decided to put some pressure on Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who approved Trump's funding grab, to reverse course.
"Senator McConnell recently talked to Secretary Esper regarding the issue and is committed to protecting funding for the Ft. Campbell Middle School project," a McConnell spokesperson said. McConnell's office also blamed Democrats for Trump's money grab, saying the situation could have been avoided if Democrats were "serious about protecting our homeland" and had approved border wall funding through the appropriations process. Of course, building a border wall has nothing to do with actually securing the border, which is why Democrats didn't fund it.
But McConnell is in a particular bind after backing Trump's national emergency declaration so he could raid military coffers to build his wall. Earlier this year, McConnell had touted his own power in an op-ed, bragging about the home-state projects for which he had brought home the bacon.
"I secured much-needed assistance for Fort Campbell, Fort Knox, and the Blue Grass Army Depot, helping the men and women serving there keep America safe," McConnell wrote in the Louisville Courier-Journal. Addendum: And then I let the mad man in the Oval Office steal the money out from under our military families and their kids. The piece was titled, “Here's how Kentucky families benefit from McConnell's clout in D.C.” Oops.
So if McConnell is able to successfully save that $62.6 million in funding for Kentucky, the question becomes whether he will do the same for the other GOP senators facing 2020 re-elections who also lost millions for their states to Trump's vanity project. And if so, will that $3.6 billion for Trump's wall ultimately end up coming at the sole expense of blue states?