SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Governor Gavin Newsom says California will lose $8 million meant to help the National Guard assist in combating wildfires under a new Trump administration plan related to the border wall.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon notified lawmakers about military construction projects in their districts that will be deferred or delayed in order to divert $3.6 billion in funding to build the president's wall at the southern border.
"The President is throwing away millions of dollars in critical funds so he can build a giant vanity project that will not make anyone safer. It's totally backwards, and puts Californians' safety at risk," Governor Newsom said in a statement released Thursday.
Newsome said that the money California will lose was planned to be used to build a flight simulator for the National Guard. It would have been used to prepare National Guard pilots to provide swift response and assistance during wildfires and other emergencies.
"The 146th Airlift Wing simulator would have trained pilots and aircrew members to fly C-130J planes to enhance their flying skills and reduce their risk during lifesaving and emergency missions in California and while deployed around the globe," the governor's office wrote in a press release.
In a letter from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Esper told Congress he "determined that 11 military construction projects along the international border with Mexico, with an estimated total cost of $3.6 billion, are necessary to support the use of the armed forces in connection with the national emergency."
Newsom says President Donald Trump should be focused on “real threats of wildfires, earthquakes and other natural or man-made disasters.”