RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The state of Virginia is joining in on the fight against President Donald Trump’s border wall.
The president wants to take $3.8 billion from the Department of Defense and use that toward construction of the border wall.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said he wants to send a clear message to the commander in chief.
“Number one – the president can’t just illegally divert money that’s been appropriated by Congress and use it for his border wall or whatever he wants to,” Herring said.
Calling it a “flagrant disregard” of the United States Constitution, 19 attorneys general filed a lawsuit to block the Trump administration from using military funds for the wall at the United States – Mexico border.
Herring tells 10 On Your Side the commonwealth could be severely impacted.
“Virginia could potentially lose up to $600 million worth of spending for military projects,” he said.
Herring said that money is critical to national security and Virginia’s economy.
According to the lawsuit, the Virginia National Guard gets roughly 97 percent of its funding from the federal government.
The suit also states as of 2017, annual defense spending pumped $46.2 billion into Virginia’s economy.
“We in Virginia have such a strong connection to our military with the world’s largest naval base right there in Hampton Roads in Norfolk. We know how critical our national security needs are and how important military spending is,” Herring said.
In a statement, the Virginia National Guard says it’s “still evaluating the impact this effort might have on readiness.”
This is the second time Herring has sued the president over border wall funding.
Last year, Trump declared a state of emergency and re-directed billions of dollars toward building the border wall.
“We were able to get an injunction to block it and we intend to do the same thing this time,” Herring said.
States like California, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York and New Jersey are some of the other plaintiffs.
So far, there’s been no official response from the White House about the lawsuit.
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