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
© Getty images

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 moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump Thirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill MORE (Calif.), John JoyceJohn JoyceGOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill Republicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave MORE (Pa.), Barry Loudermilk (Ga.), Steven PalazzoSteven McCarty PalazzoGOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall The 23 Republicans who voted against the anti-hate resolution House passes anti-hate measure amid Dem tensions MORE (Miss.), Guy ReschenthalerGuy ReschenthalerGOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall Ted Lieu plays previous Hitler comments to Candace Owens during white nationalism hearing Dem wins Trump district in swing-state Pennsylvania MORE (Pa.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceThe 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Conservatives ask Barr to lay out Trump's rationale for census question GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall MORE (Ga.), Dan MeuserDaniel (Dan) MeuserMORE (Pa.), Rick CrawfordRichard (Rick) CrawfordPoliticians cheer USWNT over defeating England, qualifying for World Cup final GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall House Intel to take first major deep dive into threat of 'deepfakes' MORE (Ark.), Ron WrightRonald (Ron) WrightGOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill Republicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave MORE (Texas), Glenn GrothmanGlenn S. GrothmanGOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill GOP lawmaker: Trump 'not quite popular enough' to advance an immigration bill MORE (Wis.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarThe 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Conservatives ask Barr to lay out Trump's rationale for census question House sends Trump border aid bill after Pelosi caves to pressure from moderates MORE (Ariz.), Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsHouse Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Live coverage: House Oversight examines Trump family separation policy MORE (N.C.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHillicon Valley: Twitter says Trump 'go back' tweet didn't violate rules | Unions back protests targeting Amazon 'Prime Day' | Mnuchin voices 'serious concerns' about Facebook crypto project | Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill Social media summit highlights partisan approaches on tech MORE (Fla.),  Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterJudge refuses to dismiss Duncan Hunter charges LA Times editorial board calls on Duncan Hunter to resign immediately Judge says Duncan Hunter's personal relationships can be evidence in corruption trial MORE (Calif.), and Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.).

ADVERTISEMENT

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 TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA 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: Esper officially nominated for Defense secretary | Pentagon silent on Turkey getting Russian missile system | House, Senate headed for clash over defense bill House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE (D-Wash.), the chairman of the Armed Service Committee, in the panel's markup.