The money that will be used to build the wall was originally intended for the needs of the National Guard, as well as for the purchase of aircraft and shipbuilding.
The Trump administration announced the transfer of $ 3.8 billion under the recently passed defense budget law to finance the construction of a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.
Money from the Pentagon budget, originally intended for the maintenance of the National Guard, the purchase of aircraft and shipbuilding, would be transferred to the line of expenses for the fight against drug smuggling. This will allow financing the construction of the wall.
Congressman Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House armed services committee, harshly criticized the budget maneuver, which was disclosed in documents provided to lawmakers. Democrats also criticized the transfer, but President Trump last year was able to carry out the same” maneuver” without any consequences.
“Congress has the constitutional authority to determine how defense funds are spent. Today’s reprogramming is contrary to the constitutional authority of Congress,” Thornberry said in a statement.
Less than two months ago, the President signed a bill to amend the Federal budget. Lawmakers from both parties opposed the bill, upset that funds intended for popular projects on military bases would be used to build the wall.
This time, the Pentagon seized $ 1.3 billion that was originally intended for the purchase of equipment for the National Guard and the purchase of additional f-35 and V-22 aircraft. In addition, the defense Department canceled funding for a landing ship under construction at a shipyard in Mississippi and an expeditionary fast-moving cargo ship under construction in Alabama, which were supported by Republican Senator Richard Shelby, Chairman of the appropriations Committee.
“Today Trump robbed our National Guard to pay for his ruinous wall,” said Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy.