House Democrats introduced legislation that would prevent the Pentagon from moving money to construct the border wall. This move by the Democrats is an attempt to undercut the main goal of President Trump’s campaign.
On Tuesday, a defense spending bill was introduced by the Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee. The bill not only provides the Department of Defense with less money than it requested, but it also limits the authority of the Department of Defense to shift money within its budget.
This legislation follows the Democrats anger with the Pentagon for moving funds towards the construction of the border wall without asking Congress for permission first. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey had plenty to say on the matter.
In a prepared statement on Tuesday, Lowey said: “This bill rejects the Trump administration’s budgetary gimmicks and sleights of hand and instead provides the Defense Department with appropriate resources to address an evolving threat landscape and ensure the security of our nation and our allies.”
The document, which is 158 pages long, gives the Pentagon a total of $690.2 billion for the fiscal year of 2020, which is $15.8 billion more than the current fiscal year. Approximately $622 billion will be provided for base budget funding, while the other $68 billion is intended to go toward a war fund called the Overseas Contingency Operations account.
Nita Lowey continued by saying: “We have the most capable and advanced military in the world, and this bill honors their mission by adequately funding programs to care for service members and their families, and by protecting defense funding from being stolen for the President’s wasteful wall.”
Lowey’s harsh comments come after the Pentagon had already given billions toward the construction of the border wall. For example, in March, the Pentagon announced that it had authorized $1 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers for new border walls between Mexico and the United States. Ultimately, they intend on building 57 miles of 18-foot-high fencing.
Patrick Shanahan, the acting Defense Secretary, approved $1.5 billion, which was shifted from nuclear ballistic missile system and a plane surveillance program, that was intended to build 80 new miles of border wall. Even though the Pentagon has the authority to shift its funds, it typically asks Congress for permission before they do so.
Those Democratic lawmakers who are in opposition to Trump’s border wall have expressed their frustration with the Department of Defense. In a statement written on Friday by Democratic senators to the Pentagon, they said: “We look forward to hearing your views on how you intend to repair the damaged relationship between the defense oversight committees and the Department.”