GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped

GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped
© Greg Nash

House conservatives are pushing back against provisions in the annual defense policy bill aimed at blocking Pentagon funds from going toward President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE’s southern border wall. 

Led by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the GOP lawmakers sent a Thursday letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeBroad, bipartisan rebuke for proposal to pull troops from Africa Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Senators take oath for impeachment trial MORE (R-Okla.) and ranking member Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSix mayors making a difference Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Senate Dems urge Esper to oppose shifting Pentagon money to border wall MORE (D-R.I.) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithBroad, bipartisan rebuke for proposal to pull troops from Africa Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall MORE (D-Wash.) and ranking member Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryBroad, bipartisan rebuke for proposal to pull troops from Africa Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown GOP senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Those are just statements' MORE (R-Texas), arguing that including the language as the two chambers go to conference on their versions of the defense bill would make it difficult for the Defense Department to deploy troops to assist Customs and Border Protection agents in conducting security operations. 

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“Sections 1046 and 2801 prohibit the use of Department of Defense counterdrug programs and military construction funds to build a border wall, fence, or other physical barrier along the southern border. This is unacceptable,” they wrote. 

“There is a real emergency at our southern border. Our Border Patrol agents are being overrun, and our ranchers are discouraged with the inaction coming from Washington, D.C. Securing the border is necessary if we are to stop the onslaught of drug and human trafficking, and terrorists on the border.” 

The lawmakers said that “the urgency to build a border wall cannot be overstated.”

“It will help deter the drug cartels and tens of thousands of people who risk their lives attempting to cross our border illegally. The American people understand that failure to control our border poses a national security threat. We hope you understand the severity of this crisis and urge that these provisions are stripped from the final [National Defense Authorization Act] conference report.”

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