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House Democrats are trying to block the Pentagon from using military cash on the border wall

May 16, 2019 - 9:52 am

House Democrats are trying to prevent the Pentagon from using military money to build the border wall.

The House Armed Services Committee announced Wednesday that Democrats on the committee, led by Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. and subpanel chairman Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., introduced a bill that intends to limit the Department of Defense's authority to repurpose funds designated for military construction projects.

The bill would set a cap on national emergency military construction authority to $250 million per emergency and would restrict the ability to waive other provisions of the law in carrying out those projects.

Only money that cannot be spent for its intended purpose would be allowed to be used in an emergency, according to the bill.

The bill also would effectively slow the process to allocate money to emergency construction, instituting a required Congressional notification and a delay of construction until after a "waiting period" following that notification.

It's all in an attempt to block the Pentagon from using military construction funds to pay for the southern border wall, lawmakers said.

"I've said it before, in no uncertain terms, the Trump administration's repeated efforts to divert previously appropriated funds from the Department of Defense to finance his misguided border wall is an affront to military readiness," Smith said in the announcement.

"The administration's willful abuse of power to unilaterally enact misguided policy like building a wall on the southern border is Exhibit A in this administration's overreach," Gallego said. "By stealing money from troop recruitment accounts, counternarcotics efforts, and critical infrastructure, the Trump Administration is making our country less safe. This bill will ensure that the armed services will no longer be a bottomless piggy bank for the president's worst political impulses."

The full text of the bill was not available online as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

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