State legislators tour local military base damage

Published: Feb. 19, 2019 at 5:16 PM CST
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Congressman Neal Dunn paid a visit to Naval Support Activity Panama City Tuesday, and he didn't come alone.

The congressman was joined by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of south Florida to tour Hurricane Michael damage. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz leads the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on military construction.

This is part of Representative Dunn's efforts to garner more disaster funding by encouraging members of Congress to see the devastation firsthand.

But following President Trump's declaration of a national emergency, some worry the billions of dollars he plans to use for border wall construction will come out of military relief money in the area.

Congressman Dunn said, "It actually can't happen and I'll tell you why it can't happen: we haven't appropriated any money yet. So there is no money to pull from the bases."

But according to Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, the president can pull money from previous supplemental appropriations bills that have not yet been spent and would potentially be eligible. "Those of us that are from states like Texas and North Carolina and Florida that have gotten devastated by hurricanes will give him the fight of his life if he tries to come after that funding," said Representative Wasserman Schultz.

She added the president has not yet indicated he would target that money.

Both Congressman Dunn and Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz will be touring Tyndall's damages on Wednesday. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz says she foresees more money on the way to help military bases recover post-Hurricane Michael.