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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) LaMalfaGrowing number of lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol siege READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Interior ends endangered species protections for gray wolves MORE (Calif.), John JoyceJohn JoyceOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results MORE (Pa.), Barry Loudermilk (Ga.), Steven PalazzoSteven McCarty PalazzoREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Arson 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 MORE (Miss.), Guy ReschenthalerGuy ReschenthalerTapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Cleaver concludes congressional prayer with 'amen and awoman' MORE (Pa.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceGeorgia elections chief refutes election claims in letter to Congress READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Pence 'welcomes' efforts of lawmakers to 'raise objections' to Electoral College results MORE (Ga.), Dan MeuserDaniel (Dan) MeuserREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (Pa.), Rick CrawfordRick CrawfordREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Thompson named top Republican on Agriculture House Republicans ask Amtrak CEO for information on Biden's train trips MORE (Ark.), Ron WrightRonald (Ron) WrightHouse Republican from Texas tests positive for COVID-19 READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee MORE (Texas), Glenn GrothmanGlenn S. GrothmanRepublicans press FBI for briefing on efforts by Chinese government operatives to gain influence with lawmakers House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Hopes and fears for religious freedom in Vietnam MORE (Wis.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarFreedom Caucus chairman blasts 'sensational lies' after Capitol riot Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence MORE (Ariz.), Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Inauguration Day Trump leaves White House, promises to be back in 'some form' LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing MORE (N.C.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzCheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency Florida Republicans close ranks with Trump after Capitol siege The Memo: Historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever MORE (Fla.),  Duncan HunterDuncan HunterPresidential pardons need to go Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Pardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office 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 TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 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: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee Top Senate Democrat backs waiver for Biden Pentagon nominee MORE (D-Wash.), the chairman of the Armed Service Committee, in the panel's markup.