WASHINGTON — Louisiana's senators helped defeat an attempt at blocking President Donald Trump from using money meant for military construction projects to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-Madisonville, voted Thursday against overriding a recent Trump veto, and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, was among 11 members who did not vote.
The effort to override the president, which requires support from two-thirds of the senators, failed 53-36. It needed 67 to pass.
Trump issued an emergency declaration earlier this year, citing an influx of migrants at the border, that has allowed the White House to pull funding from military construction projects on bases across the country, including two projects at the military base in Belle Chasse totaling nearly $40 million, and redirect that money toward a wall along the southern border.
The House and Senate last month both voted to block the president's emergency order. Kennedy and Cassidy also sided with Trump in the earlier vote.
Cassidy has said he received assurances the Louisiana military base would eventually receive the money it needs for the planned upgrades to "alert facilities" and a jet parking area for the Marine Forces Northern Command located there.
The Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base is the only Louisiana site on the list of $1 billion in planned military construction deferrals in states across the country. Another $2.6 billion is being diverted from military projects in U.S. territories and other nations.
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The money diverted from Louisiana was among several projects that U.S. Sen. Mike Udall, D-New Mexico, cited Thursday in speaking in favor of an override.
“In Louisiana, the Air National Guard sought to replace an aircraft parking ramp in a New Orleans facility that exposes the public to an ‘unacceptable risk’ of being impacted by an explosive accident,” he said.