GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall

GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall
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A group of Republicans in the House are attempting to block a Democrat-led provision that would prevent Defense funding from being used to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The provision is being included in the National Defense Authorization Act, which has been submitted to the House Rules Committee. 

Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.) is leading the efforts to block the amendment. He is being joined by Reps. Doug LaMalfaDouglas (Doug) LaMalfaGOP lawmakers plan measure to force Americans to divest from firms linked to Chinese military: report House lawmakers advocate to preserve medical funding for underserved, rural areas Overnight Energy: Panel gives chairman power to subpoena Interior | House passes bill to protect wilderness | House Republicans propose carbon capture bill | Ocasio-Cortez introduces bill to ban fracking MORE (Calif.), John JoyceJohn JoyceHouse GOP to launch China probes beyond COVID-19 Trump campaign launches new fundraising program with House Republicans McCarthy unveils new GOP-led China task force MORE (Pa.), Barry Loudermilk (Ga.), Steven PalazzoSteven McCarty PalazzoArson suspected in destruction of Mississippi church that was suing over coronavirus restrictions GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall The 23 Republicans who voted against the anti-hate resolution MORE (Miss.), Guy ReschenthalerGuy ReschenthalerHouse GOP to launch China probes beyond COVID-19 Trump attacks point to Pennsylvania's critical role in reelection bid McCarthy unveils new GOP-led China task force MORE (Pa.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceOvernight Energy: Biden campaign says he would revoke Keystone XL permit | EPA emails reveal talks between Trump officials, chemical group before 2017 settlement | Tensions emerge on Natural Resources panel over virtual meetings Tensions emerge on Natural Resources panel over virtual meetings House conservatives voice concerns over minority rights during remote hearings MORE (Ga.), Dan MeuserDaniel (Dan) MeuserMORE (Pa.), Rick CrawfordRichard (Rick) CrawfordArkansas program that places unemployed guards, reservists in agriculture jobs can be a model for nation Trump campaign launches new fundraising program with House Republicans Trump immigration vow stirs serious blowback MORE (Ark.), Ron WrightRonald (Ron) WrightHillicon Valley: Uber lays off 3,000 | FBI unlocks Pensacola shooter's phones | Lawmakers introduce bill restricting purchase of airline equipment from Chinese companies Bipartisan bill would restrict purchases of airport equipment from Chinese companies Top conservatives pen letter to Trump with concerns on fourth coronavirus relief bill MORE (Texas), Glenn GrothmanGlenn S. GrothmanTop conservatives pen letter to Trump with concerns on fourth coronavirus relief bill Interest rate caps are popular — for good reason GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall MORE (Wis.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarConservative lawmakers press Trump to suspend guest worker programs for a year Impeachment figure among those chosen for Facebook's new oversight board Cruz rebukes San Antonio City Council for denouncing 'Chinese virus' as hate speech MORE (Ariz.), Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsHouse Judiciary to hear whistleblowers on 'politicization' of Justice Dept under Trump How Trump cleared the park around the White House for church photo op Trump visits historic DC church after protesters cleared with tear gas MORE (N.C.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg on the defensive over Trump posts | Twitter labels another lawmaker's tweet | USTR opens probe into digital taxes GOP lawmaker wants probe of UPenn's Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement Twitter restricts tweet from Gaetz for glorifying violence MORE (Fla.),  Duncan HunterDuncan HunterLobbying world Duncan Hunter granted delayed start to prison sentence over coronavirus New poll shows tight race in key California House race MORE (Calif.), and Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.).

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While the Department of Defense hasn’t used Pentagon funds for wall construction, it has shifted $2.5 billion from different accounts into an account for counter-drug efforts intended to be used for the wall.  

Proponents of the amendment blasted Democrats for including it in the legislation, saying that it's politicizing what could have been a bipartisan bill. 

“Democrats would rather corner Republicans into opposing this measure than to work with the President to resolve the situation at the southern border. Section 1046 is anything but bipartisan, and it is meant to stymie President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? MORE’s attempts to secure our border and protect innocent Americans,” Biggs said in a statement. 

"Some of my Democrat colleagues previously supported funding for border wall construction, yet they now oppose their existence. The president is correct to use any lawful means to build the wall – especially when Congress abdicates its responsibility.”

The amendment faces an uphill battle in the Democrat-controlled House, with the House Armed Services Committee having previously shot down similar amendments during its markup earlier this month.  

Democrats have argued using Defense dollars for the wall would be a misallocation of funds. 

“This money should not come out of the Department of Defense as, by the way, a lot of my Republican colleagues said when this first came up,” said Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Trump's move to use military in US sparks backlash | Defense officials take heat | Air Force head calls Floyd's death 'a national tragedy' Trump stokes backlash with threat to use military against protesters Pentagon: Esper, Milley 'not aware' of Trump's church photo-op ahead of time MORE (D-Wash.), the chairman of the Armed Service Committee, in the panel's markup.