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Administration to Divert Billions From Pentagon to Fund Border Wall

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“I’ll assist the president on this,” he mentioned, “however I want they’d discover the cash some place else.”

Nonetheless, some Republicans whose districts could be harmed by the reallocation mentioned they supported the president’s transfer and blamed Democratic reluctance to fund the wall. The plan would additionally take cash designated to buy F-35 fighter jets, that are constructed within the Fort Price district of Consultant Kay Granger of Texas, the highest Republican on the Home Appropriations Committee.

“Democrats have refused to work with us on border safety, which has pressured the president to redirect funds from different protection packages within the quick time period so as to safe the southern border,” Ms. Granger mentioned in a press release, including that she was assured that jobs in and round her district could be protected. “The president has provide you with an affordable method that can present the funding obligatory to handle the border disaster with out jeopardizing our nationwide safety.”

Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Protection Division spokesman, mentioned the Division of Homeland Safety had requested final month for help in blocking drug-smuggling corridors, and the $3.eight billion could be used to construct roughly 177 miles of fencing.

“We’ll proceed to assist D.H.S. and different companies as wanted to maintain our homeland safe,” Colonel Mitchell mentioned.

With the brand new define submitted Thursday, the administration could have earmarked greater than $10 billion outdoors of what Congress has designated for the wall, to be transferred from army development, counternarcotics and different packages. Democrats mentioned Mr. Trump had been pressured to resort to a “backdoor” technique of funding the wall as a result of Congress had repeatedly rejected his requests for cash to pay for it.

“Whereas a few of our Republican colleagues will lament the president’s choice, they enabled this theft by blocking our efforts to cease the president from raiding protection accounts,” Representatives Nita M. Lowey, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the Home Appropriations Committee, and Pete Visclosky, Democrat of Indiana and the chairman of the subcommittee that offers with protection funding, mentioned in a joint assertion.

Mr. Visclosky despatched a letter to the Pentagon rejecting the request, however the gesture is probably going to be ignored. Democratic senators additionally raised considerations in a letter to Protection Secretary Mark T. Esper, declaring the transfer to be “divisive, but additionally toxic to the connection we search on nationwide protection issues.”

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